I Love Israel: Thank you Israel for sharing your COVID-19 expertise to help the Philippines improve its ways

We Filipinos should be thankful to the State of Israel as their health experts shared their expertise to the national and local authorities about handling COVID-19 since they arrived here in the Philippines. They also visited and inspected vaccination hubs.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the most recent Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

Visiting Israeli health experts shared best practices in managing their country’s cold chain and logistics systems during a meeting held here with Covid-19 task force officials, members of the medical community and private sector representatives on Tuesday.

Considering the archipelagic composition of the Philippines, the health experts advised their Filipino counterparts to create centralized vaccine storage hubs that will cater to both urbanized and far-flung areas in the country.

“The Philippines needs more hubs since it is an archipelago. You should go for creating centralized hubs for Pfizer vaccines based on the ability to reach a certain population, and possibly with a customized approach in more remote areas,” said Adam Segal, logistics and operations manager of Salomon Levid & Elstein Ltd.

Centralized hubs for vaccine storage will work with metropolitan areas, with a dedicated approach in remote areas,” Segal added.

He said the Israeli Ministry of Health has also developed a smaller packaging for their vaccines. He explained that the vaccines are more secure and less prone to shaking with the smaller packaging they use.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje requested the Israeli team to provide samples of their vials so that it will be easier for the Philippines to reproduce them.

Efficient data management

The effective management of Covid-19 data was also among the main topics covered during the learning session held between Covid-19 task force members and Israeli health experts.

Officials from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) led the discussions on the current strategy of the Philippines in managing its vaccine deployment data.

The three-member Israeli delegation explained how they developed and managed their vaccination data system.

According to Dafna Segol, the Israeli government uses a data-based approach when making decisions related to its vaccination program.

One key feature of the Israeli vaccine information system is its use of a “traffic light” model. Through this approach, Israeli authorities are able to identify cities or areas that warrant immediate action.

“It allows us to focus on cities that need more attention,” Segol added.

Data warehouse

DICT’s Christian Edmond Chua said the agency established a data warehouse to capture information related to the vaccine supply chain and then process them to make crucial day-to-day decisions.

Chua noted that the local government units’ lack of resources remains the biggest challenge for data management in the vaccination program.

To address this situation, he said the DICT has designated LGUs as the “data owner” of their vaccination records.

This means the LGUs are accountable for submitting accurate information based on their vaccination records.

“In terms of the development of the technologies and tools to help in the submission (of vaccine data), we are adopting a low tech and low internet process,” Chua said.

The National Task Force Against Covid-19 has also developed an application that will ensure transparency and accountability in submitting data to the National Vaccination Operations Center.

“We monitor not only the performance of the LGUs but it is also helpful in providing feedback for the public policy health experts in calibrating our vaccination program,” Chua said.

The Covid-19 task force officials thanked the delegation for sharing their insights on how the Philippine government can further enhance its data management system.

“We look forward to applying the same lessons we have learned into our own practices in the Philippines,” DICT Director Amelia Dean said.

Lessons learned

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Vidal-Taiño noted that the meeting with the Israeli health experts would help the government further improve the implementation of its vaccine rollout.

“As we prepare for the arrival of the 40-million vaccines from Pfizer, the sharing of best practices and strategies from our Israeli partners will be a learning opportunity that we can adopt in our practice,” Vidal-Taiño said.

“We will consider the four success factors of Israel on vaccine distribution. First, the availability of trained human resources and the availability of infrastructure. Second, the small batch packaging, which we are very interested in. Third, the high usage rate and minimal waste. And lastly, the adequate preparation for the storage capacity and the outstanding cold chain distribution,” she said.

“We have to strictly follow the safe handling of the vaccines,” said NTF Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez during the discussions.

As you can see in the details above, the Philippines is very fortunate to learn from Israel’s health experts. As the Philippines has a population of over 100 million and an archipelago with lots of cities, towns and small communities scattered throughout, dealing with COVID-19 and getting people tested or vaccinated will always be a tremendous challenge. Israel’s success in handling COVID-19 and normalizing the lives of many people make a good starting point that leaders here in the Philippines – from the national government down to the provincial governments, the local governments, the barangays and to the homeowner’s associations – can learn from and be able to make adjustments. There are certain factors about the COVID-19 problem that the Philippines does not share with Israel, but new ways can made to improve the local COVID-19 programs now that the Israeli health experts shared their views and strategies to their local counterparts.

Watch this informative video about Israel’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Even though major breakthroughs in the Philippines’ effort on solving the pandemic-related problems and getting everyone vaccinated have yet to be realized, we Filipinos should be grateful to the State of Israel and give back by supporting them in more ways than one. We should also strengthen Israel-Philippine relations! Remember that Israel helped us and they committed with advising and improving the local COVID-19 efforts and processes. Iran did NOT help the Philippines. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) did NOT help the Philippines. Black Lives Matter cares NOTHING about the Philippines. The Democratic Socialists and SJWs overseas DO NOT really care about people here in the Philippines. Israel cared for us Filipinos.

Before ending this article, posted below is a holy scripture…

Pray and seek for Jerusalem’s peace,

for all who love her will prosper!

Psalm 122:6 (TPT)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!


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