WHO okays fund for Bukidnon fight vs. schistosomiasis

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 August) — The World Health Organization has approved the request of Bukidnon for funding support to help control schistosomiasis in the province, according to the July 15 letter of WHO country director Dr. Soe Nyunt-U to the provincial board.
Ngunt-U also asked the provincial board to nominate a non-government organization [in the province] who will manage the fund.

He said they will work with the NGO, the Provincial Health Office, and the Department of Health in developing a technical proposal that will address 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, and other fields of expertise, aside from having 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 provincial board passed a resolution requesting the WHO for 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. and passed in May 2011 asked the United Nations health body to declare the spring as a pilot area where they can pour scientific, medical, and financial resources for the prevention of schistosomiasis.

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

But he said they have to attend to the need of finding an NGO 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 MindaNews then.

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

The provincial government has prohibited bathing in the resort but some visitors would manage to sneak in. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)