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Symposium for social and political awareness on hemophilia conducted

by Ruel Francisco
August 10, 2019

TRECE MARTIRES CITY, Cavite – The first Hemophilia Awareness Symposium for social and political awareness was conducted in the province by the provincial government's Provincial Health Office (PHO) at the Cavite Collaboration Center for Public Health Auditorium here.

PHO Epidemiologist Dr. Nelson Soriano stressed the importance of having a Hemophilia Treatment Directory with identification cards of PWH (people with hemophilia) to be presented to healthcare providers in availing medical and dental services. He was quoted as saying: “Education is still the key along with proper information dissemination,” in order to address this condition and expressed the hope that hemophilia be included in the Universal Health Care Bill.

Hemophilia, a genetically-inherited bleeding disorder in which the person’s blood does not clot normally, remains unfamiliar to many Filipinos with about 10,000 Filipinos suffering from the disorder and only 1,500 have been registered with the Philippine Hemophilia Foundation, 28 of which are from Cavite.

The obvious unawareness about this condition by the public even by hospital personnel prompted the members of Hemophilia Advocates Philippines (HAP) to coordinate with the PHO and organize this event with the primary aim to raise social and political awareness for them to lobby their advocacy and seek legislative measures that will address the hemophilia medical condition.

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Pediatric hematologist from the Korean-Philippines Friendship Hospital and hemophilia advocate Dr. Melissa Montoya shared some knowledge on pediatric bleeding disorder and tips to manage cases in children such as the application of RICE which stands for Rest, Ice Packs, Compress and Elevate.

Dr. Montoya also revealed that, “I have recommended to the Department of Health (DOH) for the allocation of Factor 8 concentrate to the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital (GEAMH),” and this gave much hope to PWH since only a number of hospitals could handle patients with bleeding disorders.

Likewise, Social Welfare Officer III Brendalyn Salazar of PSWDO enlightened the members of the PWH with the simple procedures and requirements on seeking financial and medical assistance including requests for wheelchairs from the Office of the Provincial Governor.

She also assured them with their support stating, “Our office will lobby for the inclusion of PWH patients in the special cases like chemotherapy and dialysis patients qualified to receive financial assistance from the provincial government on a regular term.”

The event was attended by medical practitioners, city and municipal health officers, doctors and dentists from public hospitals, nurses from the rural health units, members of the PWD federation, employees of the provincial government's Provincial Health Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, Provincial Information and Community Affairs Department, and members of HAP. (Ruel Francisco, PIA-Cavite/with reports from PICAD)

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