By Roy Ramos
ZAMBOANGA CITY, the Philippines (AA) - Muslims across the Philippines are elated at the involvement of two local doctors at the 69th World Health Assembly in Switzerland, according to the region's newly elected governor.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman said in a statement that physicians Kadil Sinolinding Jr., and Abdullah Dumama -- both ethnic Maguindanaons from Central Mindanao -- are among the country's delegation to the health forum that started Monday.
“The Moro communities in Mindanao are honored once again with the participation of two doctors from our community in another vaunted international event,” said Hataman.
“Those activities gave us the chance to show to the world that despite our being a minority [in the Catholic majority Philippines], we are not bereft of people actively involved in governance."
Sinolinding, an India-trained ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, is ARMM’s incumbent regional health secretary, while Dumama is a regional director of the Department of Health.
Joining them at the international five-day forum in Geneva are two senior government doctors, Marlyn Concovar and Emmy Minicimpo, and Ambassador Cecilia Rebong.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, which has various programs in the ARMM.
The region covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.