LUNA, Apayao -The Province of Apayao stood tall and saved the day for region Cordillera as it bagged the silver medal award during the “RACE to End TB Program” at the 7th Union Asia Pacific Regional Conference for being the 2nd best performing province in the country in tuberculosis testing held recently at the Philippine International Convention Center, Manila.
Department of Health – Cordillera Administrative Region OIC Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan commended Apayao for its superb performance as it bested around 80 provinces nationwide and thus carried the CAR to the limelight. This has brought delight and salvaged the region as CAR according to Pangilinan is at the bottom.
“Dakami ti agpasalamat ta (we should be the one thanking as) Apayao became our saving grace! Kahit nasa bottom ang CAR, may nag stand-out na isang province and that’s Apayao (Even if CAR is at the bottom, there is one that stood out, that’s Apayao),” Pangilinan said in a comment.
She asked the full support of everyone particularly those who are in the government to do the necessary coordination and leg works in order to efficiently implement the programs of the DOH in line with the goal of putting an end TB cases from the barangay level up to the regional as a whole.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Mary Ann Soriano-Canonizado in behalf of the Apayao received the award which was conferred by two Undersecretaries Eric Domingo and Myrna Cabotaje along with the top officials of the Department of Health. Canonizado said she is honored to receive such award noting that it is a rare feat a province could attain more so that it has represented the region Cordillera.
Canonizado stressed that the said accomplishment is a collaborative work among all hospitals and Rural Health Units in Apayao with the able direction of the Provincial Health Office which she directs through the National Tuberculosis Program Provincial Coordinator Henscelle L. Amid. She also acknowledged the support of the Provincial Government under the leadership of Governor Elias C. Bulut, Jr. and of the CHD CAR steered by Pangilinan.
“I am sure that by working better together, we can achieve even more. Congratulations Henscelle Amid and to TB warriors of Apayao, you made this award possible,” Canonizado pointed out as she thanked everyone for putting Apayao in the health map with regard to this endeavor.
Meanwhile, Provincial NTP Provincial Coordinator Amid had high hopes that they can do even better next time which she said they will be aiming for the gold as the only difference between the first placer Puerto Princesa and Apayao is slim.
Based on records, CAR had just 52 percent accomplishment target which put them below the ranks. However, Apayao came out strong as from 81 provinces it ranked second with testing of 2.5 percent behind Puerto Princesa 2.9 percent and ahead of Surigao del Sur 2.2 percent which placed first and third, respectively. Only the said provinces tested over 2 percent of their respective populations.
BY GERRIAHZON S. SEBASTIAN