Just as the saying goes, “Health is wealth.” The healthier you are, the wealthier you can be in life.
So today we shall be tackling some of the different health care programs of the Department of Health (DOH) that you might not know. First off would be the Smoking Cessation Program. Tobacco, as we all know it, is the major cause of health problems globally. According to WHO’s 2005 report entitled The Role of Health Professionals in Tobacco Control, there is a whopping estimate of a billion smokers in the world and a shocking 4.9 million deaths per year and if consumption patterns do not change, by the year 2020, the total number of deaths shall rise by 10 million people. Due to the highly addictive substance of tobacco, users need support in kicking the habit off their system. A survey by The Philippine Global Adult Tobacco revealed that in 2009, 28.3% of the populace currently smoke tobacco, as young as 15 years old. 47.7 percent are men, while 9% are women. The mandate of this program is to promote and advocate the termination of the use of tobacco in the Philippines and to provide smoking cessation services to current smokers, starting at the Primary Level, which is the Barangay Health Clinics, conducting Risk Assessments and Screenings, Quit Clinics and leveraging on Nicotine Replacement Therapy. Then on the Secondary Level, which would be the nurses, doctors and other health personnel that would be in-charge of their intervention package called “Quit Day,” a pharmacologic, psychological and behavioral intervention.
Next off would be the National TB Control Program. Before we dive into details, we must first know what is TB or Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The latter’s mode of transmission is through the air when a person with TB coughs, sneezes or talks. Be forewarned that TB is NOT hereditary, TB cannot be acquired from sleeping late at night, vomiting or by simply having dry sweat in the back and most of all, it is NOT acquired through mosquito bites. This program aims to have a TB-free Philippines by achieving zero deaths, disease and suffering due to tuberculosis, a decreased 95% TB mortality rate by 2035, reduced number of TB deaths by 50% and its incidence rate by 15%. Worry not because of the very accessible modern scientific breakthroughs, TB CAN be eradicated, which reminds me of Mitch Valdes’ comical yet catchy TB-DOTS commercial stinger, “Pag may DOTS, TB nagagamots. Anim na buwang gamutan ipairal!” Yes! It would only take 6 months of consistent treatment and you can live your life once again.
Another would be the Cancer Control Program. We all know that cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally, with 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths linked to different types of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, annual cancer cases would arise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million in the next two decades. Having said that, cancer remains a top national health priority in our country with implications for everyone. In response to that, the said agency has voluminous awareness campaigns that is slated for each month for each type of cancer, partnerships with the DepEd, CHED, DOLE and the Civil Service Commission and goals such as reducing premature mortality from cancer by 25%, reduction of risk factors for cancer such as the harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and tobacco use, access to vaccination for HPV and Hepatitis B, and access to selected cancer screening.
Last would be the National Dengue Control Program. Before we go on with this topic, some people mistake Dengue and Malaria as one and the same. Dengue and Malaria are two different strains. Dengue is caused by viral infection, while Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasite and malarial mosquito is active between dusk and dawn while the dengue-carrying mosquito is active during the day time. Remember that 4S acronym? S-earch and Destroy, S-eek Early Consultation, S-elf Protection Measures, S-ay Yes to fogging during outbreaks. Going back, this program aims to reduce the burden of dengue disease and reduce morbidity rate by 25% come 2022 and conduct lab-based surveillance and virus surveillance hand-in-hand with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine’s Virology Department, Case Management and Diagnosis such as Dengue Clinical Management Guidelines training for hospitals, Integrated Vector Management such as distributing Insecticide Treated Screens or ITS to schools as its control strategy for dengue and continuous distribution of larvicides and adulticides to LGUs to combat the said outbreak.
Stay healthy and be well.