ARINGAY IS BEST MUNICIPALITY FOR FUNCTIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY SURVEILLANCE UNIT AND ACHIEVES ZERO OPEN DEFECATION STATUS DURING THE GAWAD KALUSUGAN 2022 AWARDS. The Center for Health and Development Region 1 has awarded the Municipal Health Office of Aringay as the Best Functional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit for Municipalities at the Hotel Ariana, Monday, December 12, 2022 at 1:00PM.

The Municipalities, Cities, Provinces and hospitals are evaluated as to their functionality and how they are equipped with the necessary resources and equipment. They should be able to show documentary evidences about the operations of the Municipal Epidemiologic Surveillance Units. The Municipality of Aringay aside from the Certificate of Distinction will receive a Cash Prize of Twenty-Five Thousand Pesos (Php 25,000) to further bolster epidemiology and surveillance activities. Guest of Honor and Speaker is Undersecretary Eric A. Tayag, MD.

On other hand, the Provincial Government of La Union through the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has awarded the Municipality of Aringay as Zero Open Defecation Municipality during the Harmonized Health Awarding Ceremony held at the Ynads Hotel , Namtutan, San Fernando City La Union, Friday, December 9, 2022. A verified, validated and declared ZOD Municipality receives a token prize of Twenty Thousand Pesos (Php 20,000) from the Department of Health.

Medical Officer III, Rolando Q. Mallari and Nurse II Antonette F. Bambico graced the said both awarding ceremonies and lauded each of the barangays and the Municipal Health Office for their efforts in achieving ZOD and the best functional MESU.

The PHO, along with the ZOD Verification Team of the Regional Health Office 1 has put so much effort into inspecting each of the barangays that were picked through a raffle. Access to a toilet facility is necessary and a basic requirement to achieve universal health. With this, The DOH aims to achieve 100% coverage by the year 2022. On November 25, 2022, Barangays Sta. Rita East, San Simon West and Pangao-aoan West were verified and validated.

Dr. Jinky B. Figuracion, , the Municipal Health Officer of Aringay said, “This event marks the official declaration of Aringay as ZOD Municipality, and is also the best moment to give recognition to all people behind the success of achieving Grade 1 Basic Sanitation. We should not be complacent as we have seen a lot of backsliding. We need to maintain and make ZOD as part of our health culture!”

According to the World Health Organization’s and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene, approximately 6% of Filipinos, mostly in rural areas, do not have sanitary toilets as of 2015.

By achieving ZOD status, the community can not only improve the environment of the community, but can also end a number of illnesses such as diarrhea, parasitic worm infections, and Schistosomiasis. etc.

“This could break the chain of infection and break the vicious cycle, resulting in a healthier and more productive community,” Dr.Figuracion said.