Empowering Communities: PDAO’s Initiatives to Raise Awareness on Rare Diseases During


Dr. Samuel G. Aquino, head of the Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO) together with  Dr. Mary Erika Orteza – Geneticist, BGHMC, spearheaded and continues the celebration of the Rare Disease awareness week by joining the Ugnayang Panglungsod last March 6, 2024 to fully support and spread awareness of rare diseases and person with disability identification and registration to the public. 

During the press conference, Dr. Aquino expressed his utmost appreciation to the efforts and dedication of Dra. Orteza as the geneticist of BGHMC to share information and verifying rare diseases to help PDAO identify rare disease patients that would be qualified to register and claim their PWD identification card. “Kagaya po ng rare disease hindi nga natin alam e…ako po’y nagagalak at natutuwa sa presensya ng ating bisita na galing sa BGH na binibigyan tayo nang ganitong impormasyon para yung mga kababayan natin dito sa lungsod ng Baguio ay mabigyan nang sapat at tugmang kaalamn po”- Dr. Aquino stated. 

As part of their efforts, PDAO visited a non-profit organization, Helping Hands Healing Hearts Ministries Philippines, Inc. to celebrate the rare disease awareness week and to acknowledge the inclusion of PWD to the rare disease patients. The mentioned non-profit organization caters recovery units and shelters for children with rare diseases.  

With the help of the government, the institution is committed to help for the recovery and to provide assistance to the patients especially for the children. “Best part is to see them thriving, kasi dito sa recovery unit, mostly we get them almost dying children with severely malnourished o kaya may medical concerns na talagang the hospital would say na medyo mahirap na o mahirap na i-treat.” said by Ms. Marissa Dela Peña, Assistant Director of Helping Hands Healing Hearts Ministries Philippines, Inc. 

Dr. Orteza added that there are ongoing plans and research to give further assistance not just for the patients but also for the public to be completely informed  about existing rare diseases in the city. | Princess Lhura Jesusa Payumo



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