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Pilipinas Go4Health Movement advocacy drive set for launch

By IRENE JOY B. DAYO, Reporter

THE Department of Health Regional Office 10 (DOH-10) is set to launch its advocacy campaign Pilipinas Go4Health on August 16, 2013, which will kick-off the continuous programs of the department.

With the tagline “We’re bringing Pinoys together to take action for health,” Pilipinas Go4Health is an advocacy and health promotion campaign of DOH and its partners that aims to inform and encourage Filipinos to practice a healthy lifestyle by making a personal commitment to physical activity, proper nutrition, and the prevention or cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption. Go4Health stands for their four health campaigns namely, Go Smoke-free, Go Sustansya, Go Sigla and Go Slow sa Tagay.

Go Smoke-free is due to the concern of the department on a survey that 10 Filipinos die every hour from smoking and second-hand smoking. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), 28% or 17.3 million Filipino adults aged 15 years and older are current tobacco smokers. Further, there are 1.1 billion smokers in the world and if current trend continues, the number of smokers will reach 1.6 billion in the year 2025.

Go Sustansya is to fight overweight and obese problems among Filipinos. According to World Health Organization, the trend towards foods higher in sugar and fat in the Philippines underscores double burden of under and over-nutrition. In a study done by Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 20% of adult Filipinos are obese, 22.5% are hypertensive and the obesity rate among the younger age group aged 9-11 doubled from 2.4% in 1993 to 4.8% in 2005. In another report from Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, it was shown that the number of overweight children aged 6 to 10 more than doubled from 0.08% in 2001 to 1.6% in 2005.

Go Sigla, on the other hand, is an advocacy to promote physical activities among Filipinos. In a report given by National Center for Biotechnology Information, most Filipino children are not physically active during school days, except in physical education classes.

“Go Sigla will not only be promoted to Filipino kids but also to 12-39 individuals who are in the reproductive stage of their lives,” said DOH-10 spokesperson Jun G. Galban, in a press conference held recently.

Go Slow sa Tagay is a DOH advocacy in reminding Filipinos that the effect on alcohol on health is complex. DOH reported that 11% of the population of Filipino 15- to 74-year-olds are regular drinkers at an average rate of four or more days in a week. Further, 24% of 15 to 19 years old are teen drinkers.

According to Galban, DOH is not promoting “moderate drinking” to individuals aged 15 years old and below since moderate to an adult might not be moderate to young people. The latter can be easily affected with alcohol.

DOH also made information campaigns for Pilipinas Go4Health through their collaterals and internet sites. Their main website can be accessed through the portal http://www.go4health.ph/.

The Pilipinas Go4Health Movement was nationally launched last June 6 at Ramada Hotel. Region 10’s launching will kick-off with a parade from at Rodelsa Circle to Pelaez Sports Center. DOH Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag will be also there to grace the event and dance the Hataw part of the program.

DOH-10 will also try to invite Pilipinas Go4Health champions namely Senator Pia Cayetano, Shamcey Supsup, Daniel Matsunaga, Louise delos Reyes, San Beda Red Lions, and Alden Richards.