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Pinoy physicians’ dedication led to discovery, cure of disease

12:59 AM January 11, 2017

It is with joy and gratitude that we congratulate the members of UP College of Medicine Class 1966 on the occasion of their golden anniversary. The people of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, are very grateful to the class, especially to Dr. Urbano Azurin Dauz who helped save lives in our town from a then unknown disease.

In 1967, Doctor Dauz, a fresh college graduate who newly passed the national board examination for physicians and a medical resident of UP-PGH, together with his former professors, Dr. Benjamin Canlas Jr., then chair of the Department of Pathology and Dr. Benjamin D. Cabrera of the Department of Parasitology, researched, discovered and published their joint work about an, until then, unnamed species. It would later be classified Capillariasis philippinensis (Acta Medica Philippina, 1967) and recognized as such by the Center of Tropical Diseases.

It was then a mystery disease that had claimed many lives in Tagudin, characterized by a “debilitating illness with malabsorption symptom. Requests for our clinical abstracts came most notably from the Library of the Center for Tropical Diseases. It [discovery] also earned first place in the PMA [Philippine Medical Association] Research Awards in 1967.” (UPCM Class 1966 Golden Anniversary Yearbook).

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Eventual cure came after the parasite was identified. Today, Tagudin General Hospital and Capillariasis Center treat patients suffering from the disease, here and abroad.

According to Wikipedia “Capillaria philippinensis is a parasitic nematode which causes intestinal capillariasis. This sometimes fatal disease was first discovered in Northern Luzon, Philippines in 1964.”

The town of Tagudin will always be grateful for the timely research and eventual cure of the disease that is saving many lives.

Born to a large family of humble parents who were public school teachers, Doctor Dauz is a graduate of Tagudin Provincial High School. He strived to be a university scholar to finish medicine. The pioneering and excellent work that he and his esteemed professors selflessly and perseveringly devoted to the research work on Capillariasis speaks well of UP College of Medicine’s high quality of education in upholding the sanctity, dignity and respect for life.

CHING D. AUNARIO, chingauna@yahoo.com

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TAGS: Capillariasis, Capillariasis philippinensis, Ilocos Sur, Tagudin, UP College of Medicine, Urbano Azurin Dauz
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