Category Archives: Diseases

Lung Center of the Philippines: 321 Filipinos Die Every Day Due to Tobacco

Groups urge ‘stronger tobacco control to save lives

“Tobacco control saves lives.” 

This was the message of the state tertiary hospital Lung Center of the Philippines on Tuesday during an art installation of 321 pairs of shoes and slippers in their main lobby to commemorate the 321 Filipinos who die every day due to tobacco-related diseases. 

Lung Center of the Philippines installs 321 pairs of shoes to commemorate 321 Filipino deaths daily due to tobacco.

“We need an ecosystem of policies that will make it easier for Filipinos to quit the deadly habit of smoking,” said Dr. Jessica Catalan-Legarda, Chair for Advocacy of the Lung Center of the Philippines. The art installation is part of the hospital’s World No Tobacco Day activities

“Raising taxes on tobacco products and banning their advertising, promotions, and sponsorships are just some of the policies needed to create a healthier environment for Filipinos,” she added. 

“Quitting smoking is not just a matter of personal responsibility,” said Dr. Glynna Ong-Cabrera, Lung Center of the Philippines’ Smoking Cessation Program Manager and Department of Health (DOH) Quitline Project Director. “Every day, 321 Filipinos die because tobacco companies continue to sell and market their addictive and deadly products,” she said. “Tobacco products are designed to make it difficult for smokers to quit, putting them at risk to develop tobacco-related diseases which may eventually lead to death,” she also said. 

Public interest law group ImagineLaw, co-organizer of the art installation, maintained that “tobacco companies’ business model thrives on addiction and death”. 

“Tobacco companies are neither our friends nor allies,” said Atty. Sophia San Luis, the law group’s executive director. “As we enter into a new administration, we urge our new set of leaders to be vigilant and reject any attempt by the tobacco industry to prevent the implementation or worse, roll back life-saving tobacco control measures,” she said. 

The art installation composed of 321 pairs of footwear is open for viewing until Friday, June 3, 2022.

Keeping Our Families Safe From Omicron During the Holidays and Beyond

With the increasing cases of Covid-19 and the threat of the Omicron variant from spreading, the Department of Health strongly reminds the public to remain cautious against Covid-19 even when they are fully vaccinated. While symptoms may be mild for the fully vaccinated, the disease could be severe for the unvaccinated, especially for senior citizens and those who have other underlying medical conditions.

For now, the government is also ensuring that the country has enough beds and facilities to respond to both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 cases. But crucial to this is also having FEWER PEOPLE WHO WILL NEED THOSE HOSPITAL BEDS, and we, as individuals, have control over choosing safe activities.

The simple choices or actions we make – properly wearing face masks, frequent hand washing, avoiding crowded places, immediately isolating when presenting symptoms of COVID-19, ensuring proper ventilation in indoor settings, choosing to get vaccinated, and boosted – have a collective impact on the country’s case trends. These are just some of the many things we can do that will keep us and our loved ones safe from COVID-19. Let us always choose what is safe and healthy.

The Best Safety Practice Tips from a COVID Survivor

This is worth sharing especially from someone who live to tell the harrowing story of surviving COVID19.

As a COVID Survivor, I come to realize that applying the best safety practices (other than a healthy immune system) for CoViD is the hallmark that one can follow so that he/she can be out of the complications of the disease. It made me create the 12 COMMANDMENTS OF SAFETY FOR COVID-19 which is a mnemonics of Tips to protect everyone from infection:

C  –  Cover properly your mouth and nose with appropriate Mask (surgical mask, properly sewn cloth mask, N95, or O2 Canada Mask and if possible, with face shield)

O  –  Observe frequent Hand washing (with soap and water) or hand sanitizing

M –  Mind the physical distancing norms (6 feet apart)

M –  Mind the coughing and sneezing etiquette

A –  Avoid touching your face particularly the mouth, eyes, or nose

N  –  Never stay or move away quickly from crowded areas

D  –  Do not go out of your house unless it is necessary

M –  Minimize or avoid contact with frequently-touched public materials (e.g. knobs, toilet faucets) or common public surfaces (e.g. rails, counter/teller platform). Use foot, back of hand or elbow to open doors, use ‘extensions’ like Key 9 Bronze tool to press ATM and elevator buttons, use plastic bag holders, use gloves, bring exact fare when paying, etc

E  –  Emphasize in having air movement inside vehicle (2-3 inches opening with or without aircon), or in enclosed rooms by opening windows or doors to allow ventilation (better if with fans to form wind tunnel)

N –  Never forget to sanitize item/s frequently used or handled (cellular phone, car keys, computer keyboard)

T  –  Take a bath once you come from work, market, or any crowded area

S  –  Secure in a small plastic bag or simply fold properly used mask, gloves or any PPE before throwing it in the trash bin

Crisis expert Dr. Ted Esguerra was tested for COVID last March.

Dr. Esguerra is an Operational Medicine Instructor at International Disaster Response Network from the Philippines. He is the Expedition & Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Physician of the Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team and the Voyage of the Balangay. He is a Flight Surgeon and the Officer-in-Charge of the elite medical rescue team: The Specialized Medical Assistance Response Team (SMART) of the Philippine Coast Guard. He is trained on Urban and Wilderness Rescue, Aviation Medicine, Expedition Medicine for Tropical and Alpine Mountain Operations, Tactical Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Aquatic/Dive Medicine and high altitude medicine. (From his LinkedIn account)