The government of the city of Manila is planning to convert the Sta. Ana Hospital into an HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) treatment hub, a move that is being considered as the city’s “modest contribution” to help stop the spread of HIV in the country.
Sta. Ana Hospital, classified as Level 2, is a 300-bed, 10-story hospital, one of the six public hospitals in Manila that recently underwent a P500-million renovation. It already complied with the basic requirements of the Department of Health, including establishing a laboratory for treatment and analysis of HIV-infected blood; training personnel for counseling of patients, and obstetricians and surgeons to operate on patients with HIV, as well as nurses; and upgrading and procurement of facilities.
According to Dr. Jose Narciso Melchor Sescon, chief of clinics of Sta. Ana Hospital, the idea to turn the hospital into a treatment hub started in 2011, when it established its HIV/AIDS core team and since then the team conducted basic HIV orientation, stigma reduction activities backed up by in-house HIV policies and guidelines for and among employees and patients. For the past three years, it also mounted advocacy activities, such as for World AIDS Day every December 1.
“In the past four years, the hospital has handled around 40 HIV cases and attended to around five to six deliveries. As continuous advocacy efforts are sustained and are continuously evolved, the hospital management thought it’s the right time to be accredited as an HIV treatment hub after all of these experiences and efforts,” Sescon said.
Sescon said that this development will benefit all clinical staff who will have “real, firsthand training on HIV clinical and case management, so that the hospital management is already further formalizing these trainings under the Department of Family Medicine of Sta. Ana Hospital.”
Also, “considering that Manila or the NCR has the most number of HIV cases in the Philippines, the referral mechanisms for clinical management can further be enhanced and strengthened,” Sescon said.
The DOH is expected to approve the accreditation this January.
When it becomes a treatment hub, Sta. Ana Hospital will service both residents and nonresidents of the city of Manila.
Sia. Ana Hospital is located at 2692 New Panaderos Street, Sta. Ana Manila.