News Article

Healthcare for Palawan's poor

10/02/2012 | By: The Philippine Star


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Roots of Health’s founding executive director Amina Swanepoel

MANILA, Philippines -  Palawan, an island known for its pristine sands and picturesque natural beauty, is also home to more than half a million Filipinos living in poverty and malnutrition. The island has the highest fertility rate in the Philippines, yet it has the second lowest rate for prenatal care, according to nonprofit organization Roots of Health.

Based in the heart of Palawan in Puerto Princesa, Roots of Health (ROH) promotes healthcare services and education for women and children. It has been operating in the country for three years now and recently held its first event in Manila at the Alphaland Southgate Tower. With lawmakers set to decide in the next few months the future of Filipino reproductive health, the launch was as timely as it was relevant.

“At the core of the organization’s work is helping Palawan’s most underserved communities lead dignified lives through health education, clinical services, and counseling,” says ROH’s founding executive director Amina Swanepoel.

The self-reliance approach of Roots of Health has helped hundreds of Palawan women to make educated and responsible decisions for their own and children’s well-being. Proper nutrition through vertical gardening has also helped communities improve both nutrition and income levels.

Alphaland Corporation pledged support for the initiative by donating to Roots of Health for each visitor or guest who toured its Makati Place showroom at the Alphaland Southgate Tower. 

“More than just preserving Palawan for its tourism value, the Roots of Health initiative reminds us to put even greater urgency to addressing the needs of its people, our own countrymen, and that beyond commerce, there lies an often ignored poverty in an island lauded for its beauty,” says Joanna Duarte, Alphaland’s VP for sales and marketing.