DOH Bicol CHD urges the public for early health screening, advocates for cancer care

Legazpi City—The Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development (DOH Bicol CHD) is urging the public to prioritize early health screening.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, February 6 in Legazpi City, Twinkle Jean Lorilla, Regional Program Manager of DOH Bicol CHD, emphasized the critical role of expanded newborn screening in identifying potential health issues early to facilitate prompt intervention.

“Newborns, 24 hours after birth, dapat mag-undergo sila ng expanded newborn screening so that masimulan agad ang treatment to prevent disabilities sa paglaki,” she stated. “Once siya ay screened positive, mag-u-undergo po siya ng confirmatory test, and kapag na-confirm na talaga, the patient will be required to [do] the screening continuity clinics kasi lifetime na po ang magiging treatment,” Lorilla added.

(Newborns, 24 hours after birth, must undergo an expanded newborn screening so that treatment can be started immediately to prevent disabilities in growth. When he is screened positive, he will undergo a confirmatory test, and once confirmed, the patient will be required to do the screening at continuity clinics because the treatment is lifelong.) 

Furthermore, she also urged parents, particularly expectant mothers, to enroll in PhilHealth to access free expanded newborn screening services.

Meanwhile, Julie Ann Legaspi Granadino, senior health program officer of DOH Bicol CHD, stressed the importance of early cancer detection and treatment, as it can result in a good prognosis. Additionally, she also dispels misconceptions about hereditary cancer.

“Hindi po mismo ‘yung cancer ang namamana, kundi ‘yung genes na nagca-cause ng abnormal cells na naipapasa sa anak.”

(It is not the cancer itself that is inherited, but the genes that cause abnormal cells that are passed on to the child.)

Granadino also outlined two cancer treatment facilities in Bicol where the public can go and receive medical treatment, the Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center in Albay and Bicol Medical Center in Camarines Sur.

Former DOH Bicol CHD Regional Director Dr. Napoleon Arevalo reassured the public of available financial assistance for those in need, emphasizing the importance of processing the necessary documents to avail themselves of medical support.

DOH Bicol CHD conducts monthly press conferences in line with DOH administrative order no. 2021-0063, aiming to implement the Health Promotion Framework Strategy (HPFS 2023) to visualize a healthier Philippines. I Melojane Guiriña, Gabby Bajaro