What's more, barangay folk especially in remote areas experiencing stomachache, diarrhea, fever and other common ailments need not spend so much for fare to buy these medicines in town, nor should they wait for the following day to look for medicines if they become ill at night, because the answer to their needs is right in their communities.
These are just some of the benefits and advantages cited by the Department of Health (DOH) here being brought to the people in the countryside by the Botika ng Barangay.
The Botika ng Barangay is a priority project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through the DOH.
"There are 200 BnBs in Aklan now. These are located in barangays in the province divided into the Eastern, Southwestern and
Dr. Pelayo said there is a big possibility that there will be more additional BnBs in Aklan soon because many LGUs are still applying.
Under the program, the DOH gives each BnB in the barangay P25,000 worth of medicines. The barangay's counterpart would be a structure for the outlet, and an operator who would be trained by the DOH.
When stocks are already low, the operator will buy medicines from the proceeds at designated Interlocal Healthzone Pharmacies, to sustain the supply of the BnB and to keep the operation active.
Dr. Elepoldo Magpusao, Cluster Head of Eastern Aklan Cluster and in charge of orienting LGUs on the merits of operating BnBs said that to ensure the sustainability of the outlets, the DOH makes "surprise' inspections in barangays.
"To compensate operators of BnBs, a mark up of 30% in the prices of over-the counter medicines is made. The 10% will go to the operator, another 10% is used for operations like buying notebooks and ballpens for recording purposes, and the 10% is used for savings as additional amount to purchase another batch of medicines," said Dr. Magpusao.
Dr. Magpusao said there are operators who earn much from manning the BnBs, especially in towns where there are a small number of drugstores or there are no drugstores at all.
The DOH here believes that sustaining the BnBs with the active help of local government units will bring about a healthier populace at a lesser cost. The BnBs are also an indirect assistance of the government in easing the burden brought about by the high cost of living especially for those who have limited income and low-paying jobs in Aklan barangays. (PIA/Venus G. Villanueva)