Israeli health delegation shares best practices to defeat Covid


THE health delegation from the State of Israel recently concluded their five-day visit in Manila with recommenda­tions of further improving systems and procedures in handling patients of the pandemic, as well as for efficient infection control protocols and hospital management.

The team of experts is composed of infectious diseases and coronaviru­s disease 2019 (Covid-19) specialist Dr. Guy Choshen, who headed the delegation; Shira Peleg, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Emergency Department head nurse and nursing manager; Eyad Jeries, Galilee Medical Center trauma coordinato­r; and Chaim Markos Rafalowski, disaster management coordinato­r of Magen David Adom.

During the exit conference between the Israeli medical experts and their Philippine counterpar­ts on July 30, Dr. Choshen noted some key factors that need to be considered in treating Covid-19 patients.

“I was highly impressed by their profession­alism, and I am sure... there are ways to improve the way you give health care to the cities,” the doctor said, as he commended the country’s health-care workers for the profession­alism they have shown in the face of the challenges caused by the pandemic.

According to the delegation leader, there are key factors that need to be considered in treating Covid-19 patients, including the implementa­tion of standard health care in Department of Health medical centers, the need to implement or articulate a patient’s discharge guidelines, allowing patients to be visited by their family in hospitals, the implementa­tion of critical patients’ restrictio­ns, as well as infection-control measures.

The doctor also stressed the importance of elevating the vaccinatio­n drive of the Philippine­s: “This is the main way we can mitigate the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Rafalowski shared that in Israel, they have a “national daily health team evaluation,” where they gather more than 100 health

profession­als from different branches to discuss the current situation of their health-care system.

“The objective of [such] is to understand the current situation, ...identify the crisis, and try to foresee where we are heading,” Rafalowski explained. “The most important aspect is to set up priorities for immediate action for the short- and long-term health-care system with regard to Covid-19.”

PHL government’s response

FOR his part, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said: “One of the impacts that we hope to be able to achieve in our unified strategy management against this pandemic is to bring down mortality rate perhaps [at] less than 1 percent—if not less than .5 percent, as much as we can.”

He also commended the Israeli medical experts: “I thank you once again for your generosity, for sharing your knowledge and expertise… I hope that this will be a continuing… achievemen­t for the government of the Philippine­s and of Israel, [as well as] our health-care profession­als, whole society, medical doctors, nurses, and learn as much as possible.”

Deputy Presidenti­al Peace Adviser Undersecre­tary Isidro L. Purisima, who relayed National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implemente­r and “vaccine czar” Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.’s statement, said the recommenda­tions from the Israeli delegation will help the government scale up its health-care system—particular­ly its “policy direction.”

“Our countries may have similar approaches and practices in managing

the pandemic. But this week-long exchange of learnings has made us realize that there is much to be done,” Galvez said in his message read by Purisima. “Our meetings have also opened a lot of possibilit­ies which our Covid-19 task force can explore in terms of policy direction.”

Israel’s assurance

CHARGÉ d’affaires a.i. Nir Balzam of the Embassy of Israel assured that his country will continue to assist the Philippine­s in its fight against Covid-19: “This is our second delegation; the first one focused on the vaccinatio­n rollout. We will continue the collaborat­ion on a normal basis. We are working closely with the... government.”

The second delegation of medical experts arrived in the Philippine­s on July 26. The first group, which focused on sharing Israel ’s best practices in implementi­ng a national vaccinatio­n campaign, completed their four-day mission to Manila in June.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Israel has granted significan­t assistance to the Philippine­s to help its fight against Covid-19. Its government turned over several donations consisting of personal protective equipment to the Department of National Defense and the Philippine National Police for use of their frontliner­s. Equipment was also donated to the Department of Education to aid distance learning.

Israel also continues to share its experience and knowledge in emergency and pandemic response through webinars, courses, and joint meetings, according to its embassy.

 ?? BCS-PCOO ?? HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, Chargé d’affaires Nir Balzam and Dr. Guy Choshen
BCS-PCOO HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, Chargé d’affaires Nir Balzam and Dr. Guy Choshen

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