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MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, March 3 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) recently conferred the 2014 Health Excellence Award for this province, dubbed Kalusugang Pangkalahatan Second Prize, and this clearly showed that DOH-driven programs and projects had reached their intended targets at the grassroots level where it mattered most.

Furthermore, the citation likewise recognized the concerted efforts of all stakeholders, the political leaders down to frontline wellness workers in the field, in the effective implementation of health-related activities to ensure maximum compliance.

This was the common assessment shared by leading health professionals as to how the province landed for the first time at second place in a nationwide ranking of 80 provinces.

On Friday, February 20, the province was cited in a ceremony held at Pasay City "for best performance in achieving systems-based approach in local health reforms," with a corresponding P400,000.00 cash prize.

Dr. Noel Lumen, Provincial Health Officer I, during the Provincial Report cable TV program last week, recalled that for some years now, the province was the very first LGU cited by the DOH nationwide as having eliminated the filariasis illness, hence the DOH granted the Filariasis-free tag, the first ever.

Health concerns that happened in the province thus far had not reached epidemic proportions, while health advocacy campaigns were duly carried out, making the province a show window in Region 8 for DOH program, project implementation.

DOH Representatives Dr. Verna Fernandez and Letty Tan called on the people to continue complying the health campaigns of the DOH like the rabies-free campaign, dental care, among others, even as they thanked their cooperation that eventually was a big factor for the overall Pangkalusugan award.

Dr. Edmund Villa, Provincial Health Officer, was also grateful to the local chief executives and the health workers for supporting the health programs of the province and the national level, and he rallied them to exert more efforts to win the number one spot for the next round of evaluation. (ajc/esg/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)