Security Bank addresses needs of medical sector amid COVID-19
The past few months have been very tough for medical institutionsas theyfight the battle againstCOVID-19. Since the outbreak, hospitals have been coping with shortage of staffand full occupancy of rooms. Medical practitioners have also been dealing with irregular duty hours,on top of personalprotectiveequipment (PPEs) shortage.
Security Bank saw the needs of the medical sector and immediately sought out avenues where it can provide support to frontliners. Anchored on its #GetBetter campaign in response to COVID-19, the Bank embarked on strategic partnerships with various institutions to help address three important aspects of the COVID-19 response–protection, testing, and treatment.
Meeting the demands for protection
First on Security Bank’s list was to help meet the increasing demand for protective gears. With the help of The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service Foundation Inc. (TOWNS) and UP Medical Foundation,the Bank was able to provide PPEs to public hospitals across the country.
Ensuring that the recipients were those most in need, ten targeted hospitals—thosewith the greatest number of COVID-19 patients—benefitted from the PPE reinforcements. These were Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Davao Regional Medical Center, Region 1 Medical Center, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Mandaluyong City Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Southern Isabela Medical Center, Ospital ng Makati, and San Juan Medical Center.
Rehana V. Pallingayan, a surgeon medical specialist at Region 1 Medical Center,shared that the donated PPEs were a great relief to their hospital, stating that the protective gearsenabled them to provide optimal care to their patients. “Our anxiety level was high prior to receiving the donation; and to cope with the shortage of PPEs, my fellow doctors and I turned to our DIY skills in creating makeshift face shields using acetate sheets from folders,” Pallingayan recalled.
Ramping up testing capacities
Security Bank, through its corporate social responsibility arm Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI), also supported the need for increased protection and testing by donating negative pressure ambulances and a molecular laboratory in Cebu, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
Three negative pressure ambulances, worth PHP 11.4 million, were provided to help transport suspected COVID-19 patients from their homes to COVID-19 healthcare facilities. Equipped with tools that lower air pressure and disinfect and filter the air, this type of ambulance protects patients and paramedics from cross-contamination.
An additional PHP 15 million was donated to PRC to fund the construction of a molecular laboratory that will function as an additional COVID-19 testing site. Last July 16, PRC inaugurated the molecular laboratory and it is now currently servingpatients from Cebu City and its nearby provinces. The laboratory allows testing of up to 4,000 samples per day, boosting the region’s testing capacity and, at the same time, decongesting laboratories inother areas.
“The need for testing cannot be overemphasized in order to unmask the virus and prevent or control its spread,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said. “I thank Security Bank Foundation for partnering with us in this endeavor which would save the lives of our countrymen in the Central Visayas.”
Security Bank has also partnered with Manila HealthTek, the leading local rapid test kit producer, to fund test kits for the less fortunate sectors of society.
Additional donations were gathered by the Bank’s Treasury Group through the“Deals for Donations” campaign it spearheaded; wherein certain transactions equated to a donation of a test kit. During SecurityBank’s anniversary, employees who won in an internal competition also chose to donate test kits to Manila HealthTek.
The test kits purchased will be donated to the Philippine Genome Center and UP National Institutes of Health where they will be used for testing of those suspected of COVID-19 and as well as those who are probable cases.
Enabling accessible treatment for all
Security Bank has also supported treatment initiatives of hospitals, particularly the convalescent plasma transfusion therapy of St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) for COVID-19 patients who exhibit severe symptoms.
Dr. Benjamin S.A. Campomanes, chief medical officer of SLMC, noted that its exclusive partnership with Security Bank will help those who really need the treatment but do not have immediate access to it. “With their support, we will be able to extend the convalescent plasma treatment to indigent COVID-19 patients,” he said.
Less fortunate Filipinos now have a fighting chance to completely recover from COVID-19 as they undergo convalescent plasma treatment, a procedure where COVID-19 antibodies are introduced into their body. As of July 16, 10 qualified patients have already received treatment, and more patients are being assessed.
Security Bank helps give Filipinos a better future through its programs focused on medical aid. The bank is one with the nation in striving to overcome this pandemic and adapting to the new norma. Ttogether we can get better. For more information on Security Bank’s COVID-19 efforts, go to https://www.securitybank.com/Get-Better/