With the presence of representatives from other regional line agencies, the city government and city health offices, and the private sector, the Department of Health – Cordillera (DOH-CAR), through its Regional Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research Section (RPMERS) met with its Global Fund Project partners, the Philippine Business for Social Progress Inc. (PBSP) and the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) to monitor and evaluate the status of their respective ongoing projects in the CAR in terms of utilization of logistics, attainment of target accomplishments, performances, and the conduct of activities of their project-hired staff stationed in the region.
In her presentation of the current status of the National AIDS-STI Prevention and Control Program (NASPCP) in CAR, Cherrie Caluza, Regional Program Coordinator noted the continued rise in cases of HIV-AIDS and the actions being taken to address this. Mikhail Taggueg, Area Regional Coordinator of PSFI, the global fund project partner for the program, elaborated on their complementary efforts, which includes the continued push to establish more treatment sites across the region, among others.
Likewise, Regional Program Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), Leahlyn Badongen, shared the current TB situation in the Cordillera and how the partnership with PBSP enhanced local strategies to combat the disease.
PBSP Program Officer Peter Andrew Boado and Technical Staff Florence Agatha Lopez cited the significant improvement in reaching TB patients in the region over the last few years, improving their access and compliance to treatment interventions for their condition.
Program sustainability was one of the main concerns raised during the meeting by Arnel Cabanisas, private sector representative and Executive Director of the Filipino-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon Inc. (FJFNLI) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR) Social Welfare Officer Libertine Balicdang. While RPMERS Head Darwin Babon echoed this sentiment, he and all the attendees still recognized the many advantages brought about by partnering with global fund corporations to the implementation of health programs in the region.
Acknowledging that there is still much to work to do to improve the rollout of the said programs, Dr. Jennifer Joyce Pira, Communicable Disease Cluster Head, expressed her gratitude to DOH-CAR’s global fund partners for their continued generous augmentation of the regional efforts and resources in response to these diseases. “Let’s make this a regular activity,” she said, looking forward to further strengthen these partnerships towards the achievement of the common goal of Universal Health Care.