RITM as­sis­tant chief suc­cumbs to COVID

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE -

A pil­lar of the Philip­pines’ pe­di­atric infectious dis­ease medicine and a cham­pion of chil­dren’s health has fallen in the bat­tle against the deadly coro­n­avirus dis­ease 2019 (COVID-19).

Sal­va­cion Ro­driguezGat­chalian passed away yes­ter­day, her sis­ter Ruby Ro­driguez an­nounced.

Gatchalian was the pres­i­dent of the Philip­pine Pe­di­atric So­ci­ety (PPS) that leads train­ing of physi­cians on child health. She also served as the as­sis­tant direc­tor at the Re­search In­sti­tute for Trop­i­cal Medicine (RITM) that houses the coun­try’s lone test­ing cen­ter for COVID-19. She had been a fel­low of Pe­di­atric Infectious Dis­ease for more than three decades.

Gatchalian’s Facebook ac­count was flooded with ex­pres­sions of grief as her

col­leagues mourned the pass­ing of a men­tor to young re­searchers and doc­tors.

A post re­mem­bered Gatchalian as a “great men­tor and friend to many young doc­tors and sci­en­tists in (Univer­sity of the Philip­pines and RITM).”

On Twitter, tributes for Gatchalian con­tinue to pour in from her col­leagues lo­cally and abroad.

Ed­sel Sal­vana, an infectious dis­ease spe­cial­ist and molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gist, re­called that Gatchalian was “a men­tor, friend and cheer­leader for us (infectious dis­ease) spe­cial­ists.”

“The first of our Infectious Dis­eases brethren to fall to #COVID-19 in the #Philip­pines. This hurts so much. Ma’am Sally was a men­tor, friend and cheer­leader to us ID spe­cial­ists. We shall carry your lessons with us in this fight. Paalam Ma’am Sally at Maram­ing Salamat.”

Ac­cord­ing to her 2018 pro­file at the PPS, Gatchalian was af­fil­i­ated with the World So­ci­ety of Pe­di­atric Infectious Dis­ease, Asian So­ci­ety of Pe­di­atrics Infectious Dis­ease and In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for Trop­i­cal Pe­di­atrics.

Gatchalian was also a mem­ber of the Board of Trus­tees of Trop­i­cal Dis­ease Foun­da­tion, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion founded in 1984 “that seeks to con­trol and pre­vent the spread of infectious dis­eases with pub­lic sig­nif­i­cance through re­search, train­ing and the pro­vi­sion of timely and rel­e­vant service.”

She was also known as the sis­ter of noon­time TV host Ruby Ro­driguez who took to Instagram to mourn the death of her sis­ter she fondly called “Manang Sally.”


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