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DOH Bicol calls on public for cardiovascular health and wellness

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The Department of Health, Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) calls on the public for cardiovascular health and wellness as it observes the Philippine Heart Month 2021 in February.

The department said that the event aims to raise public awareness on the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) by promoting a healthy lifestyle amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Be Happy, Health Ka-Heartner! Kunsoltayo sa ating mga Primary Care Providers!.”

The Department implements the Philippine Package of Essential Non-Communicable Diseases Interventions (PhilPEN) program as an efficient means to screen and evaluate patients to reduce the number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases.

Ms. Windalyn G. Baluis, the Mental Health and Lifestyle Related Diseases Program Manager of the DOH Bicol CHD, explained the need of the public to present themselves for risk assessment for the detection of CVDs.

“The PhilPEN is a tool to assess the risk factors of the patients through timely screening, to determine the level of risk to CVD. This is done through interviewing the person to have a clear medical history, getting their blood pressure and blood sugar level, and body mass index.”

Ms. Baluis stated that the four (4) risk factors of CVDs are obesity, physical inactivity, substance use, and unhealthy foods.

She noted that a high waist circumference is to be measured since it poses as a sign of obesity due to excessive abdominal fat. Substance use such as smoking should be avoided. Physical activities like dancing and exercising should be done and junk and processed food intake should be avoided.

“The high waist circumference is measured because here we can see if the patient exceeds the ideal waist circumference. In the Belly Gud for Health Advocacy, women should have a waist circumference of 30 inches, and men, until 35 inches. When one exceeds these, they are vulnerable and considered obese. Hence, you are prone to heart ailments like coronary heart disease. PhilPEN is also a process where we give input such as counseling, checkups and medicines, with the intervention of the public to stop substance use, engage in physical fitness, and eat nutritiously. These actions are for prevention and control of CVDs.”