Community-managed Health Programs for Better Health outcomes: Preliminary results of a community Participatory research in Murcia and Isabel, negros occidental, Philippines
Background. Community-managed health programs (CMHPs) were designed to promote community selfdetermination in addressing health needs, but there is a need to evaluate how CMHPs can lead to better outcomes while accommodating changes in the national health system, which requires analysis of current CMHP interventions, institutional and community readiness, and points of interface with other health facilities.
Objective and Methods. This preliminary study aimed to guide an eventual effort to develop a framework to ensure CMHPs sustainably improve health outcomes. A preliminary analysis of results from a community participatory research was done in which baseline health characteristics, related social determinants, level of involvement of CMHPs with the local government health system, and quality of life were documented through surveys, focus group discussions and key informant interviews, both in a community with an established CMHP (Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines), and a control area without a similar NGO sector (Isabela, Negros Occidental).
Results. There was higher NGO and local government involvement among respondents in Murcia, use of traditional medicine, and sense of awareness of the need to improve the water quality in Murcia, with noted persistence of sanitation concerns, pinpointing the need to assess community participation and the efficiency of CMHPs.
Conclusion. Further study is needed in measuring community participation while considering its underlying cultural and socioeconomic contexts, in order to facilitate planning and implementation of strategies that intend to address community-recognized health needs while sustainably improving health outcomes.