WHO backs Bukidnon fight vs. schistosomiasis

MALAYBALAY CITY –  The World Health Organization positively responded to the request of the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan for help in the control of schistosomiasis in the province, according to the letter of Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, WHO country director, to the provincial board, dated July 15.

The WHO official stopped short of saying they approved the request but hinted possibility for funding support.

Ngunt-U requested the provincial board to nominate a provincial non-government organization “who will be responsible for the management of WHO funds.

He said they will work with the NGO, the Provincial Health Office, and the Department of Health to develop a technical proposal to meet the provincial board’s request.

But the WHO required the NGO contractor to have at least 10 years experience in communicable disease control, primary health care, mass drug treatment, training of trainers, field supervision, monitoring and evaluation, public relations, events organizing, reporting, project and financial management.

They also cited that the NGO must have good working relationship with the concerned health authorities and local government units.

“Satisfactory completion of similar works with LGU, DOH, or WHO is an advantage,” the WHO added.

The Bukidnon Provincial Board has passed a resolution requesting the World Health Organization (WHO) to intervene and provide financial assistance for the rehabilitation of the Matin-ao Spring Resort in Bangcud, Malaybalay City to “contain and eliminate schistosomiasis.”

The resolution sponsored by lawyer Nemesio Beltran Jr. in May 2011 sought the assistance of WHO to declare the spring as a pilot area where they can pour scientific, medical, and financial resources to prevent schistosomiasis.

Beltran welcomed the WHO response and filed a resolution expressing elation and gratitude of the provincial board to the WHO for “responding positively.”

But he cited that the search for the NGO is the thing to hurdle. He has requested referrals as to whom to nominate.

Beltran said in May that  the problem is too complicated that WHO intervention is needed.

“The provincial government does not have the money and technical expertise to solve the schistosomiasis problem,” he told Bukidnon News then.

Matin-ao resort, a favorite destination of both foreign and local tourists, has reportedly been contaminated and infected with schistosomiasis in the last 10 years.

The provincial government has prohibited bathing in the resort inside its seven-hectare property, but visitors manage to sneak in and bathe in the spring resort’s cool waters. (Walter I. Balane)

Find this story and other stories about Bukidnon, visit: www.mindanews.com

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