Ministry of Health-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao director general Dr. Amirel Usman. (MOH-BARMM file photo)

COTABATO CITY – Officials and medical practitioners of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are mourning the death of the region’s Ministry of Health (MOH) director general due to a lingering illness.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, in a statement Monday, said Dr. Amirel Usman, MOH-BARMM director general, is best remembered for "risking his own life to protect the people of the region" against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Usman, 42, passed away on Sept. 17 in his home in Cotabato City of complications from a medical condition.

“His leadership was an important part of our region’s ability to sustain a low transmission rate of Covid-19 and to assure that communities across the BARMM are vaccinated,” Ebrahim said.

“We will be forever grateful for Dr. Usman’s courage in leading the Bangsamoro government’s fight against the Covid--19 pandemic,” he added.

Medical practitioners and health frontliners also remembered Usman for his passion for public health and serving those in need.

Usman, 42, led the establishment of the Iranun District Hospital in Parang, Maguindanao, which also serves the neighboring towns of Matanog, Barira, and Buldon in the same province.

“The Iranun District Hospital is the legacy of Dr. Usman to the Bangsamoro people,” the district hospital workers said in a statement Monday.

Meanwhile, the government-run Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC) workers in this city also expressed sadness over Usman’s demise.

Physicians, nurses, and other health frontliners thanked Dr. Usman “for your incomparable commitment to work and exemplary leadership qualities."

"Thank you for putting in your maximum efforts in delivering stupendous support to CRMC,” the CRMC group, where Usman also served in the past, said.

Dr. Allen Minalang, Lanao del Sur provincial health officer, described Usman described as a hardworking medical professional.

“Too soon for a young physician, health manager, and a good man like him,” he said. (PNA)