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VPHCS calls for release of Morong 43 health workers

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A Cebu-based health non-government organization has called for the release of the 43 health workers abducted by military and police elements last Feb.6, in Morong, Rizal.

The Visayas Primary Health Services, Inc. (VPHCS) said in a statement that the abduction of the health workers including two doctors, one nurse, one midwife and several community health workers is an affront on the people’s right to health. An attack on health workers and organizations that are training to serve their communities is an attack on the right to health of the people.

VPHCS denounced the illegal arrest and detention of the health workers and urged the Philippine government to ensure their safety and their immediate release. As a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Philippine Government is bound to uphold the rights of its citizens, including their right to health,

The VPHCS asserted that the accusations of the military against the health workers are utterly absurd and ludicrous. The First Responders Training was simply a health skills training that aimed to transfer knowledge and skills from the health professionals to the community health workers so that they can in turn render health services in their communities. The Council for Health and Development, of which the VPHCS is a member, as part of its mission, has always conducted such capability-building programs for various organizations in depressed and remote communities.

The VPHCS likewise has for several years now, joined the CHD and all other 50 community-based health programs nationwide, in promoting self-reliance on health care and health development in marginalized communities.

In these times when basic health services are direly lacking in urban and rural poor communities in the country, it is laudable that community health workers are being trained and equipped with skills so that they can render basic promotive, preventive and curative health care to their community residents. It is even more laudable that doctors, nurses, midwives and other health professionals are partners in such capability-building efforts in these times when many others are leaving the country for greener pastures.


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