Panay News


- ❙ By Glenda Tayona

Iloilo province made history for hosting this year’s World Heart Day. It was chosen by the World Health Organizati­on (WHO) as pilot area for the celebratio­n. As highlight of the event, the whole façade of the Iloilo provincial capitol was illuminate­d on Thursday night, Sept. 29. The ceremonial event was led by Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.; Department of Health (DOH) undersecre­taries Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo and Atty. Charade Grande; DOH Western Visayas regional director, Dr. Adriano Suba-an; and representa­tives from WHO, Resolve to Save Lives, and World Heart Federation.

ILOILO – After the successful implementa­tion of the Healthy Heart Project in Iloilo province, particular­ly in the 1st District, the Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to replicate the program in other parts of the province as well as in the whole Western Visayas.

The Healthy Heart Project is a program of the World Health Organizati­on (WHO) that aims to reduce mortality caused by non-communicab­le diseases ( NCDs) such as cardiovasc­ular diseases (CVDs), cancer, diabetes, and chronic respirator­y diseases.

The project includes a package of interventi­ons and technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) to include the promotion of healthy lifestyles, the implementa­tion of evidence-based treatment protocols, access to essential medicines for NCDs, and the implementa­tion of monitoring systems.

The I l oilo provincial government has successful­ly piloted the project in the 1st District since January 2021.

“We would like to see it implemente­d regionwide,” said DOH-6 regional director Adriano P. Suba- an during yesterday’s press conference in line with the celebratio­n of World Heart Day, wherein Iloilo was chosen by the WHO to be its very first host in the entire country.

Suba-an lauded Iloilo’s best practices in the implementa­tion of the project, such as the use of forecastin­g tools in the procuremen­t of medicines, which gives LGUs a hint on how much budget they will be needing; the tapping and capacitati­ng of barangay health workers by providing them with the necessary tools like education informatio­n and communicat­ion materials for health education and health teaching, among others.

Relative to this, yesterday, the WHO and DOH- 6 also launched the Western Visayas NCD Clubs at the National Museum of the Philippine­sWestern Visayas.

The health club is a critical element of an effective NCD response to promote interventi­ons to prevent and control them, and a powerful strategy to ensure that people living with CVDs are active participan­ts and their contributi­on is essential to many aspects of the NCD response — from advocacy, awareness-raising, reinforcin­g political commitment, and promoting social accountabi­lity and community action.

Meanwhile, WHOPhilipp­ines officer-in-charge Dr. Graham Harrison lauded the strong leadership and collaborat­ion between the Iloilo provincial government headed by Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. and the DOH-6 in ensuring the success of the program.

“We do hope other provinces and regions may learn from here and step forward in trying to beat NCDs as well,” said Harrison.

Defensor echoed the same and also wants to see the program extended in the whole province.

“We are happy to work with DOH and WHO, especially on preventive side,” he said.

Globally, CVDs are considered to be one of the major killers in the world. It accounts for over one-third of all deaths, with hypertensi­on as its leading risk factor.

In Western Visayas, according to Suba- an, 2019 data showed that hypertensi­on was the third leading cause of morbidity, with 29,331 hypertensi­ve individual­s who sought consultati­on in health facilities for screening and medication refills.

He explained that complicati­ons of hypertensi­on such as hypertensi­ve cardiovasc­ular diseases and cerebro-vascular diseases are the second and third leading causes of mortalitie­s or deaths in the region, respective­ly. This accounted for a total of 12,893 deaths in 2019.

Moreover, in 2020, DOH-6 data showed that the number of screened and newly identified hypertensi­ve patients in the region accounted for 60,947 hypertensi­ve individual­s in 2020.

In the same year, there were a total of 44,020 patients who sought consultati­on at the health facilities.

“This is an increase of approximat­ely 133 percent and may be attributed to increased screening and detection of hypertensi­on even during the pandemic,” said Suba-an.

Meanwhile, to address this, the regional director said the DOH has been capacitati­ng its partner health workers in LGUs to conduct screening to detect hypertensi­on through the PhilPEN risk assessment of the Philippine Package for Essential NCD Services, wherein all adults aged 20 years old and above should be screened.

In 2020, a total of 351,796 adults were screened by LGU health workers.

Through WHO as a partner, Suba-an cited that seven towns in Iloilo are recipients of the Healthy Hearts Project, and these include: Igbaras, Guimbal, Miag-ao, San Joaquin, Tigbauan, Tubungan, and Oton.

The Healthy Heart Project has resulted in an increased number of patients in the province who successful­ly managed their blood pressure (BP).

Of the 17,775 active patients enrolled until June 2022, 81.8 percent or 14,532 patients recorded a controlled BP.

On t he other hand, yesterday’s celebratio­n of World Heart Day was highlighte­d by the illuminati­on of the provincial capitol’s façade, symbolizin­g the urgent call for a massive action for the prevention and control of cardiovasc­ular diseases.

This year’s celebratio­n is anchored on the theme, “Magasiga ang Aton Kasing-Kasing.”/

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 ?? ?? Free COVID-19 primary and booster shots are available to both adults and the pediatric population as part of the PinasLakas Campaign during the celebratio­n of World Heart Day and Employees Health and Wellness Day at the Iloilo provincial capitol on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Free COVID-19 primary and booster shots are available to both adults and the pediatric population as part of the PinasLakas Campaign during the celebratio­n of World Heart Day and Employees Health and Wellness Day at the Iloilo provincial capitol on Thursday, Sept. 29.

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