The Health Exemplars
Highly respected as one of the pillars of infectious disease prevention and control in the Philippines, Dr. Melecia A. Velmonte is the founder of the Philippines Hospital Infectious Control Society (PHICS), Inc., which has drafted guidelines in the prevention of nosocomial infections, a public health problem that imposes a huge socio-economic burden to both the affected families of the patients and the government as well. She and her society have raising public awareness to the inappropriate use or abuse of antibiotics that may lead to antimicrobial resistance.
A throat cancer survivor and a previous smoker himself, Engr. Emerito L. Roxas knows too well whereof he speaks. He has turned into one of the country’s staunchest health advocates, educating the public on the hazards of smoking. He has been an inspiration of hope and courage for throat cancer survivors and speech-impaired PWDs (persons with disabilities). He founded the New Vois Association of the Philippines which rehabilitates speech-impaired PWDs. He and his association have also been at the forefront in their advocacy for tobacco control and smoking cessation, joining an alliance which has been instrumental in the passage of the sin tax law.
With an alarming upward trend in the incidence of diabetes in the country, the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation Inc. or simply known as the Diabetes Center–a non-profit, non-stock organization–has been at the forefront of public health education, enhancing awareness and preventive lifestyle changes that can help prevent the disease, and if one already has it, to prevent its multi-organ complications. Spearheaded by Dr. Augusto D. Litonjua, considered the “Father of Endocrinology” in the Philippines, the Diabetes Center also provides training and regular updates for health professionals nationwide to keep them abreast in the latest developments in the prevention and management of this killer disease.
Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) Research
A rich resource of research information and innovative technologies, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has proactively addressed issues concerning healthy dietary choices and malnutrition. To reach out to the masses and effectively convey its message, the FNRI launched the Pinggang Pinoy Project to guide the public by means of an illustrative plate the importance of a balanced diet. It visually demonstrates the right proportions of the basic food groups for every meal, in order to optimize the nutrients received by the body.
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Although based in New York, Dr. Ida M. Tiongco has her heart in the underserved, far-flung areas in the Ifugao region, where she and the Philippines Dermatological Society have conducted medical missions and educated the people on proper hygiene to prevent skin diseases, dental problems and other diseases prevalent in the area.
Physical fitness and mental alertness are essential during times of natural calamities, and Dr. Teofredo “Ted” T. Esguerra has walked his talk on this to keep himself in a good and healthy physical condition. A multi-awarded expert in rescue and retrieval missions, he has conducted numerous disaster training and preparedness all over the country, equipping rescue personnel and general public with the essential knowledge and skills that can be life-saving during times of natural calamities like super typhoons and strong earthquakes.
With dental caries as a highly prevalent but inadequately addressed medical problem in the country that can lead to more serious medical and psychological complications in the long term, the College of Dentistry of the University of Philippines Manila has been a strong advocate on preventive oral management. It has spearheaded the drafting of the Policy Recommendations on the Consumption of Sugars in Public School children. With a social orientation of its curriculum, it also instills social sensitivity in its graduates and underscores the development of competencies for community service.
The core mission of UNILAB Active Health or ULAH is to encourage the public to get into a more active lifestyle so as to become trim and fit. they have regularly organized marathons and other activities participated in by thousands of Filipinos who have become more inclined to a generally healthier lifestyle. With the proceeds from its popular fun run activities, it assists various community development projects and other health-related programs.