Living a healthy lifestyle is vital as it enables us to enjoy life and make a living. However, not everyone has the privilege of staying healthy—at least not while trying to make both ends meet. As a result, many Filipinos, especially children, are malnourished. Fortunately, there are health programs in the Philippines that help address this problem.
For one, the Department of Health (DOH) gives Filipinos access to diverse health programs. They work with other government branches to give free medical services. Furthermore, there are also non-profit organizations and communities that assist street children to ensure their health and welfare.
Philippine Healthcare Initiatives
With the alarming number of unhealthy Filipinos, the DOH released a roadmap—National Objectives for Health 2017-2022—that outlines strategic goals for improving national health. One of its goals is to have better health outcomes by providing affordable and accessible health programs. Thus, the country seeks a system that’s responsive and people-centric.
It’s important to promote and create a better healthcare system. This is because focusing on people’s health lessens the risk of illnesses and the spread of diseases. This also boosts morale and productivity, as well as provides a huge amount of contribution to the economy.
Community Health Programs
There are different health programs in the Philippines that cater to various sectors. All these initiatives have one goal: to improve the quality of life of Filipinos by promoting holistic health. Here are some community activities that promote health education and give free access to medical assistance.
Family Health Programs
A community’s core is built on its families. Hence, families play an important role in public health. With this, there are health programs in the Philippines that educate Filipinos on the importance of prioritizing the wellbeing of each family member at home.
One example is the program led by DOH called the Safe Motherhood Program. It aims to ensure the welfare of mothers and meet their needs throughout their pregnancy. This program includes safe deliveries, check-ups, and care visits.
Reproductive health is also another critical family health program. It covers a wide range of topics, from STD awareness to family planning. This program helps address overpopulation in the country.
The Philippines also has programs to support children’s health. The DOH promotes newborn screening and immunization to prevent illnesses. There are also feeding programs in communities to address malnutrition.
Health isn’t just focused on the physical; it also gives spotlight to mental wellbeing. Because of this, there are health programs in the Philippines that focus on the mental health of Filipinos. According to the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2017, it protects the rights of patients as follows:
“A right to freedom from discrimination, right to protection from torture, cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; right to aftercare and rehabilitation; right to be adequately informed about psychosocial and clinical assessments; right to participate in the treatment plan to be implemented; right to evidence-based or informed consent; right to confidentiality; and right to counsel, among others.”
Furthermore, open discussions and seminars about mental health foster acceptance. It helps others understand people dealing with mental health issues. Plus, it creates a sense of belonging in a community. This awareness also urges people to seek professional help if needed.
The biggest challenge we faced this decade was the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite health programs in the Philippines, the country wasn’t prepared to combat the virus. However, after more than 2 years, we’re slowly adapting to it. This leads to more recovering patients and a lower number of cases.
The lack of hospital facilities and healthcare workers didn’t stop Filipinos from moving forward by utilizing different strategies to fill these shortcomings. The government leveraged telemedicine services and granted relief loans to the marginalized.
Now, we’re shifting to what we have dubbed as the new normal. The government adjusted health programs in the Philippines for this transition. They promoted health awareness and reminded people to stay safe by following health protocols.
Childhope Philippines: Health Programs in the Philippines
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also contribute to improving national health. We at Childhope Philippines promote children’s welfare, especially of those who don’t have a place they can call home. We understand how vulnerable children are at this time in their lives. Moreover, we see the need to safeguard their rights as individuals. Thus, we run different programs that can help improve their quality of life.
Everyone has a right to education. That idea gave birth to the KalyEskwela program. As its name suggests, KalyEskwela is a movement to provide quality education to children on the streets. It aims to give street children a chance for a better future with basic learning.
Trained street educators guide the children with the use of modules. We also bring visual aids and conduct lessons using a mobile van. Older students can join our Youth Empowerment Project. This trains and helps them provide financial support for themselves and their families.
This program provides mental support to children. We offer guidance and counseling to help them cope with stress. We let them know they’re not alone and that there are people ready to help them.
One of our goals is to give street children access to decent health care. Every week, we visit indigent areas in Metro Manila. We use a Mobile Health Clinic to provide free medical services. KliniKalye comes with one-on-one consultations. Our healthcare volunteers explain illness prevention to reduce the chances of getting sick as well as talk about proper hygiene and diet.
Skill development is important for a growing child. Doing so can help them gain skills they can use in the future. We train them in computer literacy, arts, sports, and leadership. We nurture their innate skills so they can grow. This gives them a chance to discover where they excel.
Be Part of Health Programs in the Philippines
Our healthcare system has gone through many changes. This rings true for both the public and private sectors. However, we’re still a long way from reaching our goal. We still need to cross many hurdles—lack of medical supplies, facilities, and healthcare staff—before we can improve national health. This isn’t even mentioning the disparity in health services in the Philippines.
Don’t lose heart just yet; you can do something to help. Partner with us and together let’s provide a better future for street children and help them realize their dreams. How? You can be part of our cause by donating or volunteering. Be a child’s hope today!