PH taps Israeli medical experts to boost COVID-19 response

Published June 20, 2021, 6:00 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Three medical experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health arrived in the Philippines on Sunday afternoon, June 20, to support the Philippines in its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (third from left) welcomes three medical experts from Israel’s Ministry of Health who arrived at NAIA in Pasay City on June 20, 2021. The experts will share Israel’s best practices in its vaccination program to help the country boost its COVID-19 pandemic response. (Screenshot from RTVM livestream)

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, welcomed Dr. Avraham Ben-Zaken, Dr. Adam Segal, and Dr. Dafna Segol who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City around 4:15 p.m.

Galvez said the Israeli medical team will hold a consultation meeting with the Philippines’ top medical experts to share their effective strategies on vaccine deployment, efficient cold chain and logistics practices, and data management and reporting.

They will also visit some of the country’s vaccination sites.

This, the vaccine czar said, will boost vaccine confidence among the Filipinos and help the country achieve its goal of herd immunity by year-end.

“We are very eager to learn from you especially the strategies and techniques you have succesfully employed in your country on your vaccine program. As we continue to accelerate and expand our vaccination program, the inputs of our guests will enable us to fine tune our appraoches so that we can get the anti-COVID jab to as many Filipinos, in the most effective and efficient way possible,” he said.

The Israeli medical team will be in the country from June 20 to 25.

“We are very optimistic that this week will provide us an opportunity to share our best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations on how we can further improve our vaccination systems and procedures,” Galvez said.

“We believe that it is only through this kind of cooperation that our nations across the globe will be able to address the challenges caused by this pandemic,” he added.

Israel is one of the few countries that already lifted its outdoor face mask policy after successfully vaccinating majority of its population.

The government plans to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos before the end of the year to achieve population protection or herd immunity.

As of June 18, more than 5.9 million people have already received their first dose while two million others have been fully vaccinated.