Medical services in the Bangsamoro region are expected to strengthen as international development partners donated 2019 Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) equipment and medical vehicles to the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday, January 20, at the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC) in Cotabato City.
Officer-in-charge of Ministry of Health (MOH) Minister Dr. Ameril Usman said the donation is an act of “moral governance” as they help the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in uplifting the lives of the Bangsamoro.
“These equipment will solely be dedicated in serving the Bangsamoro people,” Usman said.
The German Government donated 35 units of solar generator sets, three units of land ambulance, and one unit of sea ambulance, while the British Government donated three units of biosafety refrigerators and three units of cold chain vehicles through International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) “prepare, prevent, protect” approach in mitigating impacts of the pandemic to vulnerable sector communities in Mindanao.
Kristin Dadey, IOM Philippines chief of mission, said the donated vehicles and equipment are timely with the roll out of the vaccine as it will be significant in storing and transporting specimen and medicine for critical patients across the region.
“We are working, in partnership with the Ministry of Health in BARMM and Integrated Provincial Health Offices, to enhance logistics and frontline healthcare capacities in cold chain management [of Covid-19 specimens],” Dadey added.
The vehicles, Usman added, will be then turned over to recipient local and provincial government units after an agreement will be signed for its maintenance and continued operation.
Usman, Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas, and IOM sub-office head Hwakyun Kim signed the donation acceptance documents during Wednesday’s event.
The turnover was also attended by Chief Minister Ahod “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim, Executive Secretary Abdulraof Macacua, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Asnin Pendatun, German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel, British Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Alastair Totty, and IOM Chief of Mission Kristin Dadey.
Chief Minister Ebrahim expressed gratitude to the development partners.
“Your support, along with the rest of the international community, speaks a lot about our shared desire of achieving lasting peace,” Ebrahim said.
The regional government has allotted an initial budget of Php500 million to procure Covid-19 vaccines. Usman added the training of trainers for vaccinators are already underway for the vaccine management team of MOH.
“We are still searching for vaccines that is appropriate for our situation in BARMM,” Dr. Usman added.
In November 2020, the IOM also handed over a total of 240 Covid-19 specimen carriers, 240 ice packs and 4,800 specimen bags. (Bangsamoro Information Office) — (✓)