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CBCP official lauds Pinoys in Ebola countries

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QUEZON City, Nov. 12, 2014—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC) is all praises for Fr. Anthony Patrick Santianez and other overseas Filipinos like him who, despite risks to their health and lives, are actively involved in the fight against the dreaded Ebola virus.

Fr. Anthony Patrick Santianez (center) is a Filipino missionary in Sierra Leone, a West African country, which has a recorded total of 4, 862 Ebola cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo from Santianez' Facebook account)

In an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, Fr. Dan Cancino, CBCP-ECHC executive secretary, expressed his admiration for Filipino volunteers, many of them missionary priests and some laity, who have opted to remain in their host countries to help contain the killer virus.

“What our fellow Filipinos abroad are doing in a time of epidemic like this one serves as a valuable inspiration to all of us. It also shows that the Church will always be the first to offer herself when sick people need a caring hand,” he said.

According to the priest, these Filipino “Ebola busters” can be considered soldiers on a mission.

Besides looking after Ebola patients, Cancino shared they are also engaged in intensifying the campaign against the virus.

Although the country remains Ebola-free, the CBCP-ECHC executive secretary has called on the public to do their part in helping to spread information about the virus, particularly on how it can be prevented.

The priest stressed cooperation among the government, especially its health agencies, the private sector as well as the Church, is key to ensure that the virus will not enter Philippine territory.

The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) place the number of Ebola fatalities at over 4,900.

The victims are mostly from the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. (Raymond A. Sebastián)


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