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ARMM gets medical equipment package from foreign donors

HEALTH • 22:23 PM Sun Jul 17, 2016
John Unson
Justin Morgan of Oxfam (center) led Thursday’s symbolic turnover of medical equipment to officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (JOHN UNSON)

COTABATO CITY --- Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were elated with last week’s donation to the ARMM government of P4 million worth of medical equipment by the European Union and the international donor agency Oxfam.Physician Allen Minalang, chief of the Lanao del Sur Integrated Provincial Health Office, said he and his subordinate-medical practitioners in the province are grateful to the EU and Oxfam for the assistance package.He said even private doctors in Lanao del Sur, which has 39 towns, are as thankful to the EU and Oxfam.
The donated equipment is comprised of dry heat sterilizers, wheel chairs, pediatric stethoscopes, infant delivery beds, oxygen tanks and other instruments needed in reproductive health clinics.Ophthalmologist Kadil Sinolinding, Jr, the regional secretary of the Department of Health in the autonomous region, on Saturday said the health support package was turned over Thursday to ARMM by Justin Morgan, Oxfam’s representative to the Philippines.The symbolic turnover rite, held at the Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City, was witnessed by regional officials and representatives of non-government organizations supporting the health programs of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. That was a very big vote of confidence for the ARMM government’s health thrusts in all of the region’s five provinces,” Sinolinding said.The EU is a major benefactor of the regional government’s Improving Availability of Reproductive Health Services in the ARMM (ARCHES).The ARCHES is a special program meant to hasten the delivery of reproductive health, maternal and child care to Muslim, Christian and Lumad sectors in the region’s more than 100 municipalities.Based in Oxfordshire in England, Oxfam, a confederation of 18 international organizations involved in humanitarian projects worldwide, and the EU are jointly supporting the program.Besides the ARMM government and the partners EU and Oxfam, the ARCHES also involves the non-government organizations Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation in Lanao del Sur, the Pinay Kilos in Sulu and Basilan, the Tarbilang Foundation in Tawi-Tawi and United Youth of the Philippines-Women in Maguindanao.The ARMM provinces, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, are covered by the Reproductive Health Care Act of 2012 promulgated by the Regional Assembly, touted as the Little Congress” of the autonomous region. The regional edict, which Hataman signed into law in the same year, established a region-wide reproductive healthcare program promoting natural family planning methods and the availability of extensive maternal and childcare services in ARMM towns. Our regional chief executive, Gov. Hataman, and the personnel of the ARMM health department are happy with this medical equipment grant from the EU and Oxfam,” Sinolinding said.

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