MANILA -- Primary health care is on top of the government’s agenda in both fighting health crises and sustaining the effective delivery of essential health services, President Ferdinand R. Marcos said on Tuesday.
Marcos made this remark in a meeting with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), who paid a courtesy visit to the chief executive at the Study Room in Malacañan Palace.
“We need to do that, especially now that we have learned many lessons from this pandemic,” said Marcos, who cited the country’s progress in managing the pandemic.
“It is the time to start. Even in the psychology of our people, they think that we are now managing COVID very well,” he added.
The President also called for a renewed focus on general public health concerns as cases of other diseases have increased.
“[We have to] bring back to other issues that were neglected during the height of the pandemic. There’s so much to do. We have to take care of our people,” the chief executive said.
For his part, the WHO chief said while more COVID-19 variants emerge, the pandemic has yielded so many lessons, among which is that adequate testing and preparedness are crucial to battling disease outbreaks.
“I don’t think we will need different tools than we have now. It’s a matter of immediately detecting and using tools to stop it,” said Ghebreyesus.
“If we continue to be vigilant, we can solve it. So what I expect is for the future, maybe in the next few months or more, I think we will move forward,” the WHO chief pointed out.
Ghebreyesus is in the country to participate in the 73rd WHO – Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting (WPRCM) being held in Manila from Oct. 24-28.
Joining Ghebreyesus during his courtesy call on Marcos were WHO Chef de Cabinet Dr. Catharina Boehme and Director of Programme Management Dr. Corinne Capuano of WHO Western Pacific Regional Office.
Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Secretary Antonio Lagdameo Jr. and Department of Health (DOH) Officer-In-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire were also present when Ghebreyesus paid a courtesy call to Marcos. (OPS)