IN LINE with Philippine Digestive Health Week (PDHW), ongoing till March 13, here are initiatives to increase digestive health screening and improve patient outcomes.

The Department of Health is launching the use of the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) as the primary population-based colorectal cancer screening tool.

A technical expert committee for gastrointestinal cancers and other digestive illnesses will be formed in the second quarter of 2021 to develop national practice guidelines for colorectal cancer. The committee will also determine the possible inclusion of FIT and colonoscopy in organized cancer screenings managed by national health services.

Free webinars will be livestreamed on the PDHW 2021 Facebook page throughout the week: “Tummy Talks” will be shown till March 11, 6 p.m., a lay forum on FIT will be held on March 16, 6 p.m.

The cancer control policy in the workplace, which is expected to be issued within the year by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Civil Service Commission, will allow employees with cancer to undergo their chemotherapy sessions without having to file sick leave. — P. B. Mirasol