In a dedicated effort to prioritise public health, the Taguig City government took a significant step last Wednesday by providing free healthcare services.
The services are offered to more than 330 individuals grappling with diabetes and hypertension. This initiative marked the city’s observance of World Diabetes Day, which took place on 14 November 2023. It underscores the crucial need for awareness and proactive healthcare measures.
Diabetes and Hypertension among Filipinos
In 2019, Dr. Cynthia Sanchez, a member of the Diabetes Philippines, Inc. Board of Trustees, revealed that among the 63,265,700 Filipino adults surveyed, 3,993,300 were found to be living with diabetes. Alarmingly, diabetes stands as the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines. Dr. Sanchez highlighted two primary risk factors contributing to the prevalence of diabetes in the country. They are: family history and the challenge of being overweight or obese. Moreover, she noted that the incidence of diabetes among Filipinos tends to escalate notably after the age of 40.
On the other hand, statistics from the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) in 2021 indicated a rise in hypertension prevalence in the country, reaching 37%. The breakdown revealed a prevalence of 52% among men and 48% among women. Notably, the elderly had a significantly higher prevalence at 72%. This is in stark contrast to adolescents aged 12 to 18, where the prevalence was merely 5%.
Comprehensive Health Services Offered
The city health office played a pivotal role in this outreach, offering participants an array of essential services. The services provided included blood sugar and cholesterol screening, ECG (electrocardiogram), non-communicable disease risk assessment, chronic kidney disease screening, chest X-ray. It also included screenings for cervical health, breast health, and tuberculosis. Additionally, free flu vaccination shots were made available, enhancing the scope of health services provided.
Leadership and Commitment
The event was graced by the presence of Mayor Lani Cayetano. Mayor Cayetano highlighted the significance of raising awareness about diabetes and hypertension. Recognising the importance of preventive care and early detection, Mayor Cayetano stressed the city’s commitment to the well-being of its residents.
In addition to the screenings and vaccinations, the Taguig City government organised enlightening lectures on nephropathy, chronic kidney disease, and diabetic foot care. These educational sessions aimed to empower participants with knowledge about managing and preventing complications associated with diabetes and hypertension.
Essential Gift Bags
Acknowledging the holistic nature of health, all participants were generously given gift bags containing essential items. These bags included nutritious fruits and vegetables. It also included vitamins—a gesture aimed not only at addressing immediate health concerns but also promoting long-term wellness.
Proactive Community Care
The initiative reflects Taguig City’s proactive approach to public health, emphasising both preventive measures and community education. By combining screenings, vaccinations, and educational sessions, the city government demonstrated a commitment to fostering a healthier community.
This event not only provided critical healthcare services to those in need but also created a supportive environment for individuals to take charge of their health. The holistic approach, including awareness-building lectures and the provision of essential items, showcases the city’s dedication to addressing health challenges comprehensively.
Building a Healthier and Informed Community
As Taguig City continues to prioritise the well-being of its residents, initiatives like these serve as a beacon of community care and proactive healthcare management. The successful execution of this event on World Diabetes Day stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to building a healthier and more informed community. The event not only provided critical healthcare services to those in need. It also created a supportive environment for individuals to take charge of their health. The holistic approach, including awareness-building lectures and the provision of essential items, showcases the city’s dedication to addressing health challenges comprehensively.