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PIA Press Release
2009/02/24

DOH brass guest speaker for Southern Leyte declaration as first filariasis-free province nationwide

By Bong Pedalino

Southern Leyte (February 24) -- Everything has been set for the big day in this province's capital Maasin City, tomorrow, February 25, an activity which was initiated by the Department of Health (DOH) recognizing this place as the first-ever among the many provinces across the country to have achieved complete eradication of a mosquito-induced bodily affliction.

Mario Villaverde, Undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH), will give the keynote address during the program and awarding ceremony to honor Southern Leyte as the "First Filariasis-free province nationwide" at Ampil Pensionne Function Room in Maasin City.

Another guest, Yolanda Oliveros, Director IV of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, will introduce USEC Villverde as the guest speaker.

Among those who will share their thoughts and messages are Dr. Michael Voniatis, the Medical Officer of the World Health Organization (WHO), Ms. Daisy Sembrano, Executive Director of GSK Foundation, Gov. Damian Mercado, and Dir. Edgardo Gonzaga, OIC-Regional Director of the DOH.

This was learned from an advance copy of the program given to PIA.

The day will start with a motorcade starting from the capitol grounds and around the streets of the city at eight in the morning. Simultaneously, a press conference from 8:00 to 9:30 in the morning with members of local media is to be held at the Ampil Function while the motorcade is ongoing.

The formal program will follow after the motorcade and the prescon.

After the presentation of awards and the speeches, another highlight of the program will be the distribution of certificates to concerned offices that greatly helped in the DOH's health campaign, and the unveiling of a marker declaring the province as filariasis-free.

According to wikipedia website, filariasis is a parasitic and infectious tropical disease that is caused by thread-like filarial nematode worms. The most spectacular symptom of lymphatic filariasis is elephantiasis —thickening of the skin and underlying tissues—which was the first disease discovered to be transmitted by a mosquito bite. Elephantiasis results when the parasites lodge in the lymphatic system.

Global health authorities forecast that by the year 2020, filariasis would be totally eliminated in any part of the Earth. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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