The FDA Director General, Dr. Kenneth Y. Hartigan-Go, joined the Philippine Delegates to the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA)1, led by the Secretary of Health Dr. Enrique T. Ona and Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong (Geneva) as co-leader. More than 3,000 delegates from the WHO’s 194 Member States convened at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from May 19 to 24 in addressing key global health issues.
The Health Secretary addressed the Assembly during the plenary debate on the relationship between climate and health, and he remarked that health is one of the most visible dimensions of climate change. He said that the health impacts of climate change are diverse and real, and that a united front against the health impacts of climate change is needed to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC) for the people.
The delegates actively participated in meetings that adopted more than 20 resolutions on public health issues and approved a number of resolutions on issues, such as regulatory systems strengthening, access to essential medicines, AMR, public health impacts of exposure to mercury, renewed commitments to UHC, health development agenda post-2015, and health intervention and technology assessment in support of UHC, and attended various side events during the week-long conference.
The Philippine delegation also included Deputy Permanent Representative Noralyn Baja (Geneva), Dr. Jaime Lagahid, DOH Chief of Staff, Dr. Roland Cortez, DOH Asst. Secretary, Dr. Irma Asuncion, DPCB Director, Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr., CHD-8 Director, 3rd Secretary Sharon Johnnette Agduma of the Philippine Mission (Geneva), Dr. Cirilo R. Galindez, Chief of EVRMC, Attache Michelle Eduarte (Geneva), Dr. Oscar Gutierrez, OIC-PPO, FDA, Dr. Allan Evangelista, BIHC Chief HPO, Dr. Cherylle Gavino, DOH Secretary Executive Assistant, Dr. Linda Milan, DOH Consultant, and Mr. Roger P. Tong-An, PNA National President.
The Philippines DOH remains committed to continue and sustain its efforts in ensuring equitable, sustainable and quality health for Filipinos. Ambassador Rebong reiterated her “continued support for the work and programs of the WHO and will continue to work with the WHO in addressing global health issues,”
During the 51st Anniversary celebration on June 23, 2014, FDA Director General Dr. Kenneth Y. Hartigan-Go, and CHD-XI Director Abdullah B. Dumama signed a Memorandum of Agreement, which would allow the FDA to use a portion of the land at the CHD-XI Office in Davao City to build the P30M FDA Regulatory Field Office in Mindanao.
The momentous event was witnessed by the FDA Deputy Director General, Dr. Ariel Valencia and the OIC of the FDA Lega Support Services Center, Atty. Donna Sanchez, together with other member of the FDA Management Team and representatives of the Cebu and Davao Satellite Laboratories.
Assistant Secretary Romulo A. Busuego, the DOH Mindanao Cluster Head, sent his message of full support to the FDA-CHD-XI Project in Davao City. The eventual presence of the FDA, as health regulatory agency, in Mindanao would be help ensure that the people, especially the uderprivileged, have adequate and equitable access to health products, facilities and services, and will help support the government's efforts to sustained long-term economic growth and poverty reduction, as well as peace and order in the region.