INKING MOA (L-R). Acting City Health Officer Dr Lorraine Nery, CDO City Mayor Oscar Moreno, Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital Administrator Sr Evelyn Aguilar SPC, and outgoing Xavier University President Fr Roberto “Bobby” C Yap SJ during the MOA signing on July 1. Photo by Roel Ravanera.
On July 1, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was drawn between the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cagayan de Oro and Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital (MRXUH) for a COVID-19 testing reservation deposit worth P500,000.
City Mayor Oscar Moreno and MRXUH Administrator Sr Evelyn Aguilar SPC were the main signatories of the MOA. Signing as witnesses were Acting City Health Officer Dr Lorraine Nery and Xavier University President Fr. Roberto "Bobby" C Yap SJ.
The donation was prompted by Fr. Bobby’s call for financial assistance for the establishment of a Reverse Transcription — Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory in MRXUH. The RT-PCR is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. With RT-PCR available in the city, the local capacity for testing is expected to manage and prevent the rise in cases in the city and in the region.
“This laboratory will be for service,” Fr. Bobby shared during the event.
“[The donation] will be for poor symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals who might have been exposed to community transmission,” Fr Bobby adds.
For his part, Moreno expressed to “make testing, especially RT-PCR available not just for the city, not just for the region, [but] even for part of the Zamboanga peninsula.”
Moreno further committed to cover the PhilHealth premium for the referred patients.
GOLD STANDARD. Reverse Transcription — Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing laboratory in MRXUH. Photo by Roel Ravanera.
The RT-PCR Testing Laboratory was installed and blessed in Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital (MRXUH) on May 30. The accreditation process is ongoing DOH Manila has inspected the laboratory to ensure it is fit for clinical testing of human specimen.
Meanwhile, 6 – 8 medical technicians currently undergo biosafety level 2 (BSL2) training to also meet the standards for running an RT-PCR lab.
The MOA-signing was prefaced with a brief visit to the RT-PCR Testing Laboratory at around 3:45 in the afternoon. After the visit, a ceremonial turnover of test kits and other testing consumables took place.
IN FULL SUPPORT (BACK ROW). DOH-10 Infectious Diseases Cluster Chief Dr Ian Gonzales, Head of the City Health Insurance Office Dr William Bernardo, MRXUH’s Medical Director Dr Raul Andutan, City Epidemiologist Dr Joey Retuya, XU VP for Social Development Roel Ravanera, and XU President-elect Fr Mars Tan SJ. Photo by Roel Ravanera.
Also present in the event were DOH-10 Infectious Diseases Cluster Chief Dr Ian Gonzales, City Epidemiologist Dr Joey Retuya, Head of the City Health Insurance Office Dr William Bernardo, MRXUH’s Medical Director Dr Raul Andutan, XU VP for Social Development Roel Ravanera, and XU President-elect Fr Mars Tan SJ.
The modular testing laboratory is generously lent to MRXUH by the United Laboratories (UNILAB) through the facilitation of Xavier University. The call for donations to support this private sector-led initiative for COVID-19 testing continues to cover for the first months of the lab operations.
“Without partnership, it will be difficult to continue the journey alone,” said Moreno.
Fr Bobby adds, “We hope that we can work together and heal as one together.”∎