May 15, 2014

The Department of Health (DOH) today launched the DOH on Wheels: Kalusugan Pangkalahatan or KP Roadshow. KP is the Aquino administration’s universal health care agenda, which seeks to improve health outcomes like maternal and child health at the least possible cost.

During the launch, there were activities meant to showcase the wide range of health services available for women, children, and even men – essentially, all members of the family. Special service packages for adolescents and the elderly were likewise highlighted.

For maternal and child health, the holistic approach of addressing health needs along the life cycle was emphasized. The DOH presented its approaches to health education and services on family planning and responsible parenthood, PhilHealth enrollment, importance of oral health during pregnancy, and administration of micronutrients (iron and folic acid). Men’s health and family health involvement, meanwhile, focused on education on healthy lifestyle programs like exercise, cigarette and alcohol cessation, and male involvement in responsible parenthood.

Health information for adolescents centered on issues about self-image, skills and reproductive health. On the other hand, the elderly were given information on oral health, rights under the Expanded Senior Citizen Act, PhilHealth, and oral health counseling. The senior citizens were also given free pneumococcal vaccination.

With only a few months before the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG), Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona revealed that the country’s health stakeholders are working double time in order to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 on the reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health, respectively.The health chief stressed the need to fast track all efforts in realizing our MDGs. Sec. Ona also underscored the increasing trend in teenage pregnancy, which may increase the possibility of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) validated that teen pregnancy is a growing concern in the Philippines today which, if not given focus, may derail and affect the country's program targets with respect to MDGs.At 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19, the teenage pregnancy rate in the Philippines is the highest among ASEAN's six major economies, the UNFPA's 2011 annual report says.

The Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Roadshow will also roll out in Dinagat and Surigao in CARAGA in June; Tacloban, Ormoc, and Cebu in July; and then Iloilo, Antique and Caticlan in August.