In a nod to Zuellig Family Foundation’s (ZFF) programs on Universal Health Care (UHC), the Department of Health’s Center for Health Development in Region 8 (DOH-CHD 8) collaborated with ZFF to accelerate UHC implementation and address nutrition challenges in the region. The DOH-CHD 8 has been a ZFF partner since 2013 under health governance leadership and municipal leadership programs.
The virtual ceremonial signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) held on November 29, 2022, marked the start of a new partnership under the Bayang Malusog program. The leadership development program will capacitate DOH regional leaders to support provincial leaders in creating effective and responsive province-wide health systems supporting the national health agenda.
Among those who signed the MOU were: Dr. Exuperia Sabalberino, DOH Eastern Visayas Regional Director; Austere Panadero, ZFF Executive Director; Dr. Anthony Faraon, ZFF Deputy Executive Director; Dr. Joyce Viar, ZFF Nutrition Portfolio Director; and Dr. Catherine Chung, ZFF Local Health System Portfolio Director.
In his message during the ceremonial signing, Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama Jr., Health Undersecretary of DOH’s Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) for Visayas and Mindanao, highlighted the importance of collective action to realize UHC. He emphasized DOH’s commitment to working closely with local government units (LGUs) and partners by supporting local initiatives and providing technical assistance.
Similarly, Health Undersecretary Camilo Cascolan of DOH-FICT Visayas echoed DOH’s commitment to work with LGUs in achieving UHC saying that UHC will help resolve health inequities.
To cap the ceremonial signing, Faraon expressed optimism that the MOU signing will not only be the start of a new partnership but the start of collaborative work toward delivering better health outcomes in Region 8. He said that UHC must be realized through more and better services. With the Bayang Malusog program, Faraon hoped to realize the message, “Tayo ay bayang malusog—bayang hangad ang mabuting kalusugan ng lahat.” (We are a healthy nation—a nation that desires good health for all.)
(Published December 20, 2022)