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How vaccines work

Smallpox was a serious and highly contagious infectious disease caused by the variola virus. People infected with smallpox developed a fever and a distinctive,...

Filipino doctors unite to help restore public trust in vaccination

The need to protect children amidst the measles outbreak in several regions of the country has galvanized the commitment of Filipino physicians to restore public trust and confidence in vaccination and increase the country’s immunization coverage.

Fighting pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious infectious disease and should never be taken lightly. It is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in the country, according to the Department of Health (DoH). Pneumonia is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumonia, more commonly known as the pneumococcus (plural: pneumococci). Pneumococcal disease, which refers to any type of infection caused by pneumococci, includes pneumonia, meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord) and febrile bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the blood); otitis media (ear infection), sinusitis and bronchitis. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia.

Preventing polio

POLIOMYELITIS, more commonly known as polio, is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children. It is a crippling and potentially deadly disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis

With the exception of clean drinking water, it has been proven that vaccines are the most effective means of reducing and preventing contagious diseases, preventing an estimated 2.5 million deaths each year. Among the deaths prevented are those that may come as a result of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis that also afflict children.

Top 10 threats to global health in 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently came out with a list of the top 10 threats to global health that will demand attention from WHO and its health partners in 2019.

Preventing flu

Cold and changing weather increase our risk of getting sick with seasonal flu (or simply “the flu”). Caused by the influenza virus, the flu is among the leading causes of illness in the country, according to the Department of Health (DoH). From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2018, the DoH Epidemiology Bureau recorded nearly 60,000 influenza-like illness cases nationwide.

Lawmakers push for integrated cancer control law

CANCER remains to be the third leading cause of death among adult Filipinos, and fourth in child mortality. The Department of Health (DOH) noted an increase in the incidence of cancer estimating up to eight deaths per day for childhood cancer and about 11 new cases and seven deaths every hour for adult cancer.

Compassionate care for people in their advanced years

PALLIATIVE care aims to improve the quality of life of people with serious illnesses by preventing or treating symptoms and side effects of disease...

Makati City leads the way in socialized health care

IN 1986, Mayor Jejomar Binay signed an agreement with the Makati Medical Center to allot a number of beds to poor residents, with the city government subsidizing the beneficiaries’ hospital bill. The increasing demand for health services eventually prompted the city government to push for the construction of its own full-service hospital.

Leadership and governance key to Bataan’s effective health programs

The provincial government of Bataan is a good example of how leadership and governance play a vital role in the effective implementation of health programs.

Davao City focuses on access to comprehensive, quality health services for...

Davao City is one of the country’s most progressive cities, thanks to its strong and forward-looking local government. The city’s dynamic approach to governance extends to the provision of a comprehensive range of high-quality health services.

Enhancing health service delivery

IN 2017 AND 2018, the South Cotabato provincial government funded the construction of seven halfway houses. Called Bahay ni Nanay, these dwellings were built to take care of full-term pregnant tribal women waiting their turn to deliver in government birthing facilities that are often filled to capacity. “Around 30% of my constituents are indigenous peoples [IPs] who live in remote upland villages. Tribal women whose pregnancies have reached term and their companions can stay in Bahay ni Nanay until they are about to give birth,” said South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes, during the 2018 Health for Juan and Juana Forum: Moving Forward with the Philippine Health Agenda.

South Cotabato’s ‘convergence’ approach to primary health care

HEALTH is on the top of the list of South Cotabato’s convergence approach in the responsive delivery of social services.

Measuring our UHC progress

WHERE is the Philippines now in its journey to Universal Health Care (UHC)? This was the critical question that Dr. Gundo Aurel Weiler, Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), answered during the recent “Health for Juan and Juana: Moving Forward with the Philippine Health Agenda” forum.

UHC champions

THE 2018 Health for Juan and Juana Forum (HJJ Forum) held last week gathered the country’s healthcare thought leaders and experts and galvanized their commitment to make Universal Health Care (UHC) happen for all Filipinos. Among the health champions who graced the forum were luminaries who are at the forefront of the UHC advocacy in the country.

Solons step up support for national cancer care bill

IN A PREVIOUS COLUMN, we highlighted the efforts of the Cancer Coalition Philippines (CCPh) in urging Congress to pass a bill that will ensure quality health care for all Filipino children and adults with cancer. A national alliance of patient groups, health care providers, and advocates, CCPh is pushing for the enactment of a National Integrated Cancer Control Act, which increases investments for the prevention, early and accurate detection, and optimal treatment for all forms of cancer. The law also mandates the adoption of an integrated, multi-disciplinary, and patient/family-centered approach to cancer management.

Know your BP numbers

One in four Filipinos aged 21 years and older has high blood pressure. It is called a “silent killer” for a reason: hypertension often...

Ready to beat malaria

AFTER AN unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled in the global response to one of humanity’s oldest diseases. This was...

Understanding hemophilia

THE EXPRESSION “it runs in the family” is often viewed with optimism but such cannot be said about hemophilia. Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding...

Ethical collaboration

THE VARIED AND COMPLEX challenges in the health care system require proactive collaborations between the government, patients, professional organizations, and the private sector. Recognizing...

Preventing summer-related illnesses

PAGASA has held off on declaring the official start of the summer season because of the recurrence of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan....

Easing the burden of rare diseases

WHEN TAKEN COLLECTIVELY, rare diseases are not that rare at all. At the moment, there are about 7,000 diseases that are considered “rare” because...

Spotlight on cancer

FOUR FILIPINOS die of cancer every hour, almost 100 every day. According to the Department of Health, the most common cancers among Filipino men...

Responding to disasters and emergencies

THE continuing unrest of Mayon Volcano has to date affected nearly 22,000 families, accounting for over 83,600 persons from 61 barangays in nine municipalities...

Volcanic eruptions and their impact on health

ON THE evening of Jan. 13, Mayon Volcano began spewing ash and lava, causing rocks to fall from its summit. The Philippine Institute of...

What UHC is, what it is not

At least 400 million people have no access to essential health services, and 40% of the world’s population lack social protection, resulting in financial...

Universal Health Care 2030

OVER the next 13 years, countries will be in a race to end all forms of poverty by halting inequalities and ensuring that no...

Universal Health Care: a vision and long-term thinking

A NUMBER of important global issues took center stage during the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. These...

The promise of the R&D pipeline

GROWING scientific knowledge and the rapidly increasing pace of technological advances are ushering in an era of endless possibilities for the prevention, treatment, and...

Demonstrating potential new medicine safety and efficacy

THE QUALITY, safety, and efficacy of medicines are primary to the drug discovery and development process. When a candidate medicine demonstrates promising results, its...

The value of clinical trials

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro Padilla IT IS ESTIMATED that the annual spending of the biopharmaceutical sector in research and development is 5.5 times higher than the defense...

Developing new medicines

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro Padilla THOUSANDS of potential new treatments offer the hope of closing the gap of unmet medical needs to save lives and improve the...

Health in the G20 agenda

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla The Group of 20 (G20) economies, representing more than four-fifths of gross world product and two-thirds of the world’s population, concluded...

Rethinking the fight against antimicrobial resistance

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla (Second of two parts) Each year, about 700,000 people die due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). While the number is considered low compared...

Antimicrobial resistance

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla (First of two parts) THE GROUP of 20 (G20), composed of the top powerful nations, is meeting early this month to again...

Preventing common illnesses in temporary shelters

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla EVEN AS clashes continue, the government is now training its sights on the early recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi more than...

A different kind of freedom

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla (Second of two parts) A SIGNATURE drive launched on Independence Day continues to gain ground with the hope of attaining a...

A different kind of freedom

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla (First of two parts) For the first time since the siege of Marawi City three weeks ago, the national flag was raised...

First, do no harm

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla THE Latin phrase “Primum non nocere” is often translated as “first, do no harm.” It is similar to the text in...

Education and Health

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla In a few days’ time, about 25 million Filipino students are expected to troop back to school. Education is so important...

Making health care accessible

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla KOFI ANNAN, then United Nations Secretary-General and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, once said that “the biggest enemy of health...

Health for Juan and Juana

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla THE “Healthy Asia Pacific 2020” Roadmap called on APEC economies to develop sustainable and high performing health systems by adopting or...

The shift to primary health care

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla ALMOST 10 years ago, the global health community made a resounding call to revitalize a declaration which required all health systems...

Working towards universal health care

Medicine Cabinet Teodoro B. Padilla AMBISYON NATIN 2040, representing the collective long-term vision of the Filipino people, emphasizes the significant role of health in the country’s...