Philippine Bible Society responds to SARS issue
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) often reminds the public that information is the best way to prevent the spread of international health menace Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). To help the fight against SARS, PBS collaborated with DOH to print 100,000 copies of information leaflets for free distribution. Copies were formally turned over by PBS represented by Dr. Medarlo Rivera, PBS General Secretary, to DOH Undersecretary Antonio Lopez, representing Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit who was then in Geneva, Switzerland to attend an international SARS meeting spearheaded by the World Health Organization.
In a short speech during the turnover ceremony on May 19 at the DOH Compound, Dr. Lopez reminded the audience of the same reaction people had towards AIDS in the early 1980s. “Doctors who were supposed to take care of the patients refused to treat them. People panicked. And now history repeats itself with the outbreak of SARS,” he said. He added that this happens due to ignorance because of lack of information. And the Philippine Bible Society’s contribution of 100,000 copies of SARS leaflets will help the DOH in informing the public about the disease.
The leaflets contain information on SARS and its prevention, as well as selected passages from God’s Word. PBS strongly advocates that for every issue, may it be personal or national, the Scriptures provide a dependable source of comfort and assurance. In a time of fear and crises such as that caused by SARS, PBS encourages people to pray for leaders that God will give them wisdom, strength, and guidance, and for cooperation from the people to observe the necessary precaution, which is vital to effective prevention and control.
During the ceremony, PBS turned over 25,000 copies to DOH, which were distributed to the 12 regional offices of the Department of Health, while 75,000 were already distributed to the public through partner churches and organizations.