Training on Voluntary Counseling and Testing in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV Infection
On March 25, 2017, the Order of Malta Philippines organized a training on Voluntary Counseling and Testing in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV Infection in San Martin de Porres Charity Hospital in San Juan, Metro Manila.
The HIV and AIDS program of the Order of Malta Philippines began in 2005 to respond to the International Declaration on HIV and AIDS by the International Committee of the Order of Malta (CIOMAL); the United Nations General Assembly Special Session in 2001; and Republic Act 8504 (The Philippines AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998).
In responding to the call of these agencies and the declaration previously stated, the Order of Malta Philippines adopted the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and AIDS Program in 2005. It was during the leadership of the first Hospitaller of the Order of Malta Philippines, Don Luis Quimson with Doña Lena Vera who succeeded him, that the response to the call was made in collaboration with the San Lazaro Hospital headed by Dr. Rosario Jessica T. Abrenica.
The support and encouragement of the late Rev. Msgr. Francisco Tantoco, Magistral Chaplain of the Order of Malta who was then the Executive Director of Caritas Manila, provided an impact to the implementation of the program. Hospital visitations to the H4 Pavilion with celebrations of the Holy Eucharist with the patients became a regular activity of the Order since then. This activity was supported with orientation workshops and trainings undergone with healthcare workers in particular prioritizing recipients of the Order of Malta.
To this day, the Order of Malta Philippines continues its program with additional services in providing awareness, assistance to patients and their families, networking and linkages, spiritual assistance and other services especially for pregnant women and their babies.
In celebration of the Order’s 60th anniversary, a one-day seminar on Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Infection was conducted by Dr. Perla N. Alban, DTM&H, FPSMID, FPSVI , Project Director of the Order of Malta, at the San Martin de Porres Charity Hospital in San Juan City, Metro Manila. Twenty (20) healthcare workers participated in the sessions consisting of structured learning exercises and group discussions. The activity ended by a very solemn vow of commitment to integrate Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Infection in the San Martin de Porres Hospital’s Maternal and Child Health Services. We hope to duplicate these efforts to other recipients of the Order especially that cases of HIV and AIDS infection is increasing.