CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, January 16 (PIA) - The Department of Health (DOH) Calabarzon and the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) joined forces in leading the Philippine Package Essential Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) Interventions (Phil PEN) Summit held at the Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last Friday, January 11.
The DOH and PSH converged to promote prevention of NCDs as risk factors to cardiovascular diseases through the Phil PEN Summit.
PSH members, doctors, provincial and municipal health executives, and Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), among others, from around the Calabarzon region participated in a dialogue on Cardiovascular Risk Assessment and Management Initiatives.
This engagement with the local health practitioners is aimed towards reducing the rates of lifestyle-related NCDs in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon through early screening and consultations including timely treatment at the local level.
By definition, PEN is a prioritized set of cost-effective interventions for NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases that can be delivered to an acceptable quality of care, even in resource-poor setting.
Phil PEN is then employed to the provincial and municipal levels due to the limited resources therein.
DOH and PSH noted that "cardiovascular diseases (CVD) comprise more than one-thirds of all deaths worldwide and 85% is due to a heart or a brain attack."
Moreover, four of the top causes of death in the Philippines in 2016 involves CVDs and accompanying complications which cover one-third of all deaths in the country. With this, they have recognized the need to address the problem by assessing the behaviors that can cause or worsen and finding ways to manage these diseases.
Dr. Deborah Ignacia D. Ona, PSH Secretary and UP-PGH Clinical Associate Professor, tackled the guidelines on Hypertension; while, Dr. Carmela N. Granada of the DOH Lifestyle-related Disease Division talked about the integrated and public health approach to Hypertension and Diabetes in a low-resource setting of primary health care.
"It is gladdening that we're here together for this is how to do it, this is how we should make things happen for the health system, not for the Department of Health, but for the Health System," DOH Calabarzon Regional Director, Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo said.
He added that the public and private health sector must go together like this and see how to make things new and different in order to succeed this time.
"Our population continue to be exposed to the behavioral risk factors that may cause heart diseases. People of the working age are especially affected which is a serious risk to the economic potentials of this country."
He explained that the strategies of the government in addressing this challenge is currently embedded in the newest FOURmula One Plus strategy of the Department, also known as F1 Plus, which is seen to boost the Universal Health Care by ensuring the accessibility of essential quality health products and services at appropriate levels of care.
"The DOH's mission is to lead the country in the development of a productive, resilient, equitable and people-centered health system."
He pointed out that this is in context of achieving better health outcome, more responsive health system, and more equitable healthcare financing.
In result, it is seen to strengthen five strategies in the areas of financing, service delivery, regulation, governance, and the Plus of the FOURmula One Plus which is performance accountability.
The cooperation, he said, of different sectors is vital in achieving greater progress in addressing cardiovascular diseases, since NCDs are driven both by health and non-health variables that the health sector cannot adequately prevent and control on its own.
"Multisectoral approach is required to establish enabling environment in the communities so that healthy choices become the more attractive choices."
To better address the NCD situation particularly in the region, DOH Calabarzon is set to fund and conduct surveys in the five provinces of the region to identify the five-year trend of NCDs in the area.
Finally, Janairo advised that prevention of the NCDs and CVDs starts at home. In a practical note, he said, parents must train and teach their children to eat healthy as a way of early prevention.
This way, he added, they will not be at risk of acquiring NCDs when they grow old. (Joy Gabrido, PIA4A)