Over 1k BHERTs members trained in public communication, contact tracing

October 14, 2021

In a bid to strengthen contact tracing (CT), testing and further boost government response amid the pandemic, 1,250 members of Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were trained in public communications according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-CAR.

“CT will only be successful if the community accepts it as an effective measure in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will not be possible without proper communication,” said DILG-CAR Local Government Operations Officer III Danilo Azarcon Jr.

He said that the training will ensure that members of the community will feel supported and protected and that they will receive empathetic, and culturally appropriate engagement in an accessible language.

He added that the abilities of BHERTs to demonstrate empathy and trusting communication in community interactions are essential to complete the health care interaction to the fullest potential.

BHERTs as 'first line of defense' in communities

BHERTs, a community organization tasked with managing all COVID-19-related healthcare needs are also tasked to make sure that residents within their jurisdiction are all accounted for and are fully informed about the disease.

“By communicating risk, facilitating CT, and connecting communities with larger local health systems, these neighborhood-based teams form the frontline of efforts to delay COVID-19's spread and locally contain the pandemic,” Azarcon said.

The DILG mandates the creation of the BHERT for every 5,000 population, composed of an executive officer, a barangay tanod, and two barangay health workers, wherein one is preferably a nurse or a midwife to be appointed by the Punong Barangay.

Further, the Department, together with the local government units and other partner agencies, will ensure that all BHERTs are equipped, visible, and accessible in local communities with proper training and skills.