IT was a different Sunday for habitués of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City : they had the chance to learn more about common diseases affecting the digestive system and how these can be prevented.
Speaking at the 4th Lay Forum on cancers of the digestive system at the Megatrade Hall yesterday, Health Secretary Dr. Enrique T. Ona said that it is important for people to recognize the early symptoms of gastro-intestinal diseases, even if the number of stomach-related diseases has gone down over the years. He said that cases of kidney-related diseases are alarming, noting that about 16 percent of Filipinos have tested positive for Hepatitis, meaning the chances of these cases going into cancer is rather high. He called on the forum participants to start children on Hepatitis vaccines as early as their first year, for this is the only way to significantly bring down the incidence of hepatoma or liver cancer three or four decades later.
The Health Secretary also said that "health is a concern, not only of doctors, but also of the public" and that the health care needs of the less privileged should also be considered. "There are about five million families that earn about P3,500.00 per month at 'yun ang binibigyang pansin ni Pangulong Aquino," he said. "They will be enrolled with PhilHealth para 'pag naospital sila, wala nang out-of-pocket na babayaran," and that in the near future, "...hindi na full charity ang patients dahil sa health insurance."
The forum was jointly organized by the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology, the Philippine Society of Digestive Endoscopy and the Hepatology Society of the Philippines , in observance of Philippine Digestive Health Week. At least 32 corporate exhibitors, including the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) supported the activity, providing information and product sampling for booth visitors.
The activity's theme was "Kung Di Ukol, Di Bubukol, Magtanong Kay Dok." Among the highlights of the day's event was the ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between PSG and Pfizer Consumer Division for the implementation of continued information dissemination and awareness campaigns on digestive system health conditions. The MOA was signed by PSG President Dr. Diana Payawal, Pfizer Consumer Division General Manager Joana Tantoco and Pfizer Marketing Manager Michelle de la Cruz. Witnessing the MOA signing were Ona, PSG First Vice President Dr. Marcellano Aquino Jr. and Dr. Jane Campos, also of PSG. (Moppet B. Varlez, PAD; Photos by Noc A. Nisperos, PAD)
The PhilHealth Logo, Photographs and information on this Web Site may not be reproduced, copied, or downloaded in any form or by any means -- graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including recording, taping, photocopying, or information storage and retrieval systems -- for use in illegal, damaging or pornographic material.
But PhilHealth information may be used for educational or informative purposes and may be reproduced, copied, or downloaded without the written permission from PhilHealth.