Influenza A(H1N1) in the Philippines

9 July 2009

The Department of Health (DOH) today expressed gratitude to the World Health Organization (WHO) over the commendation it gave to the government agency for its swift and tireless efforts in dealing with the novel virus A (H1N1).

The WHO letter dated June 30, 2009 and signed by WHO Regional Director Dr. Shin Young-soo put on record “my personal appreciation of the exceptional collaboration established between the Government of the Philippines and the World Health Organization in the fight against Pandemic H1N1 2009. I commend your leadership and tireless efforts in responding to this emerging threat to the health of the people of the Philippines”.
“We are very grateful that our efforts were recognized and didn’t go to waste. We appreciate that the WHO finds our response efficient and that it is confident on the quality of our laboratory diagnoses,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

The WHO letter further said that “Contact tracing has also been thorough, allowing the DOH to detect further cases and slow down the spread of the virus. The efficiency of the response indicated to me that the Philippines has the fundamental capacity to detect and respond to the new influenza virus. I should add that WHO is also confident about the quality of the laboratory diagnoses carried out by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and about the epidemiological activities conducted by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC)”.

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