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  • President Of Philippine Pediatric Society Is The 9th Doctor To Succumb To COVID-19

    Her sister, actress Ruby Rodriguez, confirmed the news of her passing.
    by Kitty Elicay .
  • The president of the Philippine Pediatric Society, Dr. Sally Gatchalian, passed away Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, after battling with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    Actress Ruby Rodriguez, who is the sister of Dr. Gatchalian, confirmed the news of the doctor’s passing in an Instagram post.

    “We will only remember you with happy memories, laughing, and sleeping, your Johnson outfits and all, how you love bling bling, your Kuaff hair every day, your K-drama addiction I will make you kwento what I have seen last, our Sunday lunches, our ‘bonding trips’ that you and I only do,” Rodriguez writes as caption to a family photo with her sister, whom she fondly called ‘Manang’ Sally.

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    She adds, “Lots of happy and fond memories! I love you so much my big sister. Be at peace, do not worry about us anymore. Have fun in heaven! Love you so much!!!”

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    Last week, Rodriguez shared that her sister was confined at a hospital. “She is weak but stable,” the actress said in a Twitter post.

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    Dr. Gatchalian, who also serves as assistant director at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), was also a former president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP). She has also helped SmartParenting.com.ph as a resource-person for several health-related articles.

    On Facebook, messages for the late pediatrician were posted by fellow doctors. Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana, M.D., DTM&H, FPCP, FIDSA, an infectious disease specialist and molecular biologist at the University of the Philippines and the Philippine General Hospital, shared in a public post a photo of Dr. Gatchalian.

    “The first of our Infectious Diseases brethren to fall to COVID-19 in the Philippines. This hurts so much,” he wrote. “Ma’am Sally was a mentor, friend, and cheerleader to countless physicians and ID specialists. We shall carry your lessons with us in fighting the virus tooth and nail. Paalam Ma’am Sally at maraming salamat.”

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    Dr. Cristina Alberto, a fellow pediatrician and a member of PPS, also wrote an emotional post for her mentor. “Dr. Sally Gatchalian, PPS President, a great mentor and friend to many young doctors and scientists in UP and RITM [succumbed] to [COVID-19] this morning. We will miss your bubbliness and laughter. You finally found your halo and wings,” Dr. Alberto wrote.

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    PH losing doctors to COVID-19

    Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines said in an interview with Dobol B sa News TV that Dr. Gatchalian was the ninth doctor to succumb to COVID-19.

    “Pang-siyam na po si doktora Sally,” Jimenez said.

    In a separate interview with CNN Philippines, Jimenez attributed the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) as one of the reasons why frontliners such as doctors are more vulnerable to catching the disease.

    "Wala tayong mga PPE. Kaya nga po siyam na, tingin ko sampu na ang namatay na doktor because wala tayong protection sa mga frontliners, especially the doctors," he said in an interview.

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    The deaths were confirmed by Dr. Dennis de Guzman, former assistant secretary general of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), in a report by Manila Bulletin

    According to De Guzman, the names of the other doctors who had passed due to COVID-19 are: Dr. Israel Bactol, cardiologist at the Philippine Heart Center; Dr. Rose Pulido, oncologist at San Juan de Dios Hospital; Dr. Greg Macasaet III, anesthesiologist at the Manila Doctors Hospital; Dr. Raul Jara, cardiologist at the Philippine Heart Center; Dr. Henry Fernandez of Pangasinan Medical Society; Dr. Marcelo Jaochico of Pampanga Provincial Health Center; Dr. Raquel Seva, OB-Gyne in Laguna; and Dr. Hector Alvarez of Novaliches District Hospital.

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    “Talagang kami sa Philippine Medical Association at sa lahat ng mga doctor ay nakikiramay sa lahat ng pamilyang naiwan nitong mga doctor. Talagang masakit sa aming kalooban na mawala sila pero yan ay nasa aming tungkulin, sa aming mga puso, na tumulong sa mga Pilipino dahil ito ay naka-atas sa aming mga puso,” De Guzman said.

    The Philippine General Hospital is in need of 70% ethyl alcohol, surgical masks, N95 masks, face shields, and surgical gowns. For donations, click here.

    Want to help our frontliners? Here are some ideas on how you can help.

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