Lanao del Sur, 3 December 2020 –The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines spearheaded by Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran turned over 5 medical ventilators to the Lanao del Sur provincial government to support of the efforts to enhance the local government’s capacity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the surge of COVID-19 in the province, Lanao del Sur and its component city, Marawi City, are the only areas in the country under the Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ)—the highest community quarantine classification—as a means to flatten the rising number of cases.
An important element of the Lanao del Sur government’s response to the pandemic is to ensure that local public hospitals are well-equipped with critical medical equipment, supplies, and personal protective equipment.
“These five medical ventilators from the UNDP are essential to our war on COVID-19,” said Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr.
The 5 medical ventilators from UNDP have been delivered to Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City, a licensed COVID-19 testing lab, where the newly turned-over equipment will provide the much-needed boost to the health care capacity of the province.
Dr. Ramachandran noted that the collaboration “is a good start, but a lot more remains to be done. UNDP is now working with the BARMM government to establish an online platform to streamline the procurement of critical medical supplies and PPEs, and we look forward to also working with Lanao del Sur in this area.”
On behalf of the provincial government, the ventilators were received by Lanao de Sur Board Members Abdulrashid Balindong, Allan Panolong, and Abdulhamid Amerbitor; Dr. Shalimar Sani-Rakiin, Chief of Amai Pakpak Medical Center; and Dr. Alinader Minalang, Head of the Integrated Provincial Heath Office of Lanao del Sur.
In September, UNDP also provided 200 sets of personal protective equipment to frontliners of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Provincial Community Quarantine Facility Ligtas COVID-19 Center. This was made possible through a UNDP Funding Windows project called "Strengthening National and Local Deradicalization Efforts through Community and Women's Participation in, and Cooperation with, National Security Institutions and Processes."
While immediate healthcare system support is a key component of the partnership, both UNDP and Lanao del Sur are also working find avenues to bring together peacebuilding, recovery, and humanitarian approaches in order to provide lasting solutions to the needs of vulnerable communities like the internally displaced peoples (IDPs) in the province.
While in Marawi, Dr. Ramachandran took the opportunity to visit the Sagonsongan Temporary Shelter—home to 140 Meranao families that were displaced by the 2017 siege of Marawi City—to determine the support that UNDP can extend to rebuild the livelihood of the IDPs.