Ifugao is a mountainous province in Cordillera Administrative Region. The geographical feature of the area makes health service delivery difficult. As a result, many of the population especially in far-flung barangays have limited access to health facilities. In 2005, the Women’s Health Team (WHT) which aimed to assist the community through various activities like tracking pregnant women, referral and health advocacy/promotion was organized by the provincial health office with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
However, the Governor, now Congressman, Hon. Teodoro B. Baguilat Jr., recognized that the WHT were only limited to women and maternal health services. Consequently, he ordered the review, possible expansion of membership, localization of the names of the teams, and the expansion of functions of WHT. The team thought of using the word “Ayod” to describe the newly expanded community health teams. Since most of the houses in Ifugao are located in the mountains, vehicle and ambulance are not feasible to use.
Ayod is a local term for hammock which is used as a transport facility made of rattan or piece of cloth tied at both end of a pole carried by two persons to ferry patients. It was adoptedto symbolize community participation and synergy towards the pursuit of reducing maternal morbidity and mortality and elimination of public health programs (i.e. malaria, TB and dengue fever).