COTABATO CITY—British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils lauded Bangsamoro Government’s vaccination efforts and reaffirmed the United Kingdom (UK) Government’s continuous support to the region during her visit yesterday, Dec. 6, with the Bangsamoro officials and development partners in this city.
“Only through these types of partnerships can we make things happen. We have partnerships of trust, genuine understanding, and two-way learning that we can get things done and make sure sustainable,” Beaufils said.
She also said she was proud of the ongoing partnerships that the UK Government has with BARMM Government.
“The UK Government is proud and happy partnering with the Ministry of Health, the Bangsamoro Information Office, UNICEF, and IOM. We are proud to have supported the work you have done,” she said.
Ambassador Beaufils further explained that the UK government is investing in the future, through education and health, in order to build the ideal communities for the children. She also highlighted the need to focus on mental health, given how challenging the pandemic has affected the young people in particular.
While recognizing BARMM’s low infection rate and current efforts to achieve immunity, Ambassador Beaufils warned that there is a lot more risk out there.
“We should all continue to focus on vaccination and prevention. Vaccination is really essential, it is our first line of defense, and we are happy to support it here. It is a priority for us nationally,” Beaufils stressed.
The Ambassador also recognized the information and communication efforts of the Bangsamoro Government, saying they [strategic communication plan] are comprehensive and relevant to the grassroots.
“The communications initiatives were comprehensive, really tuned [in] to what communities want to hear. It is encouraging to see such exciting communication efforts—partnering with media and local media. And I am happy [to see] the specifics of behavior change in difficult areas,” she said.
In a statement delivered by Saida D. Ali, MOH’s Public Information Officer, Minister of Health Dr. Bashary Latiph said, “we hope to have conversations that will not only help augment the Covid-19 response in the region, but will also have an impact on the overall development of health systems through the Ministry of Health.”
Meanwhile, MOH Director-General Dr. Ameril Usman thanked UL Government’s support given to BARMM Government, which has been timely and valuable in terms of helping the Bangsamoro [including the vulnerable sectors of the community], and getting correct information on Covid-19 prevention and vaccination.
“The Bangsamoro government will do whatever it takes—collaboration with development partners and communities—to help Bangsamoro get through this crisis and rebuild better once the virus has been defeated. Let’s get vaccinated for our protection and safety of our family and friends,” Dr. Usman said.
Recently, the UK Government donated an additional 5.2 million doses of Aztrazeneca vaccines to the Philippines through the COVAX facility with 415,000 doses given bilaterally, bringing approximately 5.6 million doses.
Yesterday, the Ambassador personally inspected the 2 units of medical cold chain transport vehicles donated to MOH.
MOH reported to have reached a total of 1,009,705 individuals inoculated in BARMM (27% for first dose and 13% for 2nd dose), and reported that cases as of Dec. 5, 2021 recorded only 2 new positive cases.
To date, the region has a total of 15,464 positive cases with 14,677 recovery, 161 active cases and 626 deaths, but still considered at a very low risk compared to other regions in the country. (Bangsamoro Information Office)