FOR BARMM’S HEALTH. Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim (right) welcomes with a fist bump Department of Health Officer-In-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (center) and DOH Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama at the BARMM’s chief minister’s office in Cotabato City on Thursday (July 21, 2022). Vergeire assured BARMM officials of her all-out support for the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination program in the region. (Photo courtesy of Bangsamoro Information Office - BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – Department of Health (DOH) Officer in Charge Maria Rosario S. Vergeire assured health officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) of her support for the region's vaccination campaign and other health programs.

“I told Chief Minister Ebrahim that the very reason why we are here, the DOH-BARMM main office is here, because we want to help the region in the vaccination,” Vergeire said during her visit Thursday,

From January this year to date, she noted that the vaccination rate of other regions remains at a steady level while in BARMM, the vaccination rate is increasing.

“Due to your improving vaccination performance, I decided to come over here so other regions could emulate your accomplishments,” Vergeire told officials led by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and Health Minister Dr. Zul Qarnayn Abas.

She said the region could serve as a model for the agency’s  PinasLakas campaign to be launched on July 26.

Ebrahim, for his part, said they are quite aware that in BARMM, “the challenge is still very much high as far as vaccination is concerned” but vowed to improve further its health campaign in the region.

Vergeire said the DOH is always ready to support BARMM’s health programs including on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)  immunization.

“We are here to further expand the vaccination coverage of BARMM,” she said.

Vergeire was accompanied here by DOH Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama Jr., OIC- Undersecretary Beverly Ho, Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago Jr., and other DOH officials.

While here, Vergeire’s group also visited the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center where they congratulated officials for their vaccination campaign.

The health officials’ visit forms part of the DOH itinerary to prepare for the increasing cases of Covid-19 and to start the promotion of the “PinasLakas Campaign” (Special vaccination days), which aims to provide booster doses to 90 percent of the Class A2 population.

To date, BARMM has vaccinated more than 1.5 million of its 3.4 million eligible population. (PNA)