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Cardiovascular diseases awareness drive held in Iloilo province

ILOILO CITY (PIA) – A call for a global mass action towards prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases was held in Iloilo province with the first World Heart Day 2022 celebration on September 29.

Department of Health (DOH) 6 regional director Dr. Adriano Suba-an, during the press conference, said that  data  of DOH  showed that in  2019  hypertension was the third leading cause of morbidity with 29,331 hypertensive individuals who sought consultation to health facilities for screening and medication needs. With this, a total of 12,892 died in a year.

The DOH6 data in 2020 showed that the number of screened and newly-identified hypertensive cases in Western Visayas accounted to 60,947 hypertensive individuals; a total of 44,020 patients sought consultation to health facilities, approximately an increase to 130 % that may be attributed to increased screening and detection of hypertension even during the pandemic.

“The DOH has been capacitating our partner health workers in LGUs to conduct screening to detect hypertension through the Philippine Package of Essential Non-communicable Diseases

Interventions (Phil PEN) services wherein all adults aged 20 years old and above should be screened for hypertension,” Suba-an said.

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

Meanwhile, seven towns in Iloilo province became recipients of the Healthy Heart Project which aims to reduce mortality caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. The project includes a package of interventions, technical assistance to LGUs to embrace promotion of a healthy lifestyle, implementation of evidence-based treatment protocols, access to essential medicines for NCDs and implementation of monitoring systems. 

Iloilo province had successfully piloted the project in its first district in 2021 and continued its implementation despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from Iloilo Provincial Health Office indicated that out of the 17,775 active patients enrolled in June 2022, some 14,532 patients or 81.8 percent recorded a controlled blood pressure (BP).

Guimbal recorded a 78.3% accomplishment for patients with controlled BP; 66.7% for Igbaras; 91.9% for Miagao; 83.5%  for Oton; San Joaquin got 70.7% t; 90% for Tigbuanan; and 91% in Tubungan.

Data likewise showed that as of September 2022, there are 20,765 hypertensive patients, including the 3,069 newly-enrolled in the Healthy Heart Project, 20,320 of which are receiving care at the facility.

The World Heart Day 2022, in partnership with the DOH6, held health clinics, COVID-19 primary and booster vaccination, patient education sessions on the prevention and management of hypertension, zumba activities and family planning services. Ilonggos have also availed other health services including HIV testing and screening, mental health counseling, nutrition counseling, blood chem extraction at the Capitol Clinic, blood typing at the Philippine Red Cross Booth, and actual demonstration of hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The launching of health club for NCDs was also made, serving as a critical element of an effective and single response in promoting interventions to prevent and control them, and likewise serving as a powerful strategy to ensure that people living with cardiovascular diseases are active participants and their contribution is essential to the many aspects of the NCD response- from advocacy, awareness-raising, reinforcing, political commitment, and promoting social accountability and community health, as explained during the press briefing.

Meanwhile, the ceremonial illumination of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol in red as part of the first World Heart Day 2022 held in the province was led by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., DOH Undersecretary 

Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo and  Undersecretary lawyer Charade Grande, DOH6 director Suba-an, and representatives from World Health Organization (WHO), Resolve to Save Lives, and World Heart Federation.  

“We are very proud and happy to pursue this convergence and partnership particularly, it is generating practical benefits for our beneficiaries. We want to make the entire province a beneficiary of the Healthy Heart Project and even the rest of the country. We look forward to working with the World Health Organization, the DOH and its partners, for the other areas in our fight against NCDs,” Defensor noted. (JBG/April Grace Padilla/PIA6) 

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Jemin Guillermo

Regional Head

Region 6

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