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Diseases of the heart: “Prevention is always better than cure”


According to the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), the number of cardiovascular deaths due to complications has been on the rise among Filipinos. To date CVDs are the major cause of mortality globally, a scourge that has continued to spread stealthily across all genders, races and socio-economic status. 

In the Philippines, many Filipinos do not go to the doctor to have themselves checked. And even if they feel something different or unusual with their body, they take it casually like the symptoms were just due to fatigue or stress. Worst, those who were diagnosed to have heart problems are non-compliant and sometimes would resort to self-medication rather than listening to their attending physicians and following the right prescriptions.

The PHA, a group of over 2000 cardiologists from all over the country, who have been in the forefront of mending the Filipino heart for 70 years now, has also taken the cudgels to educate the citizenry on caring for their hearts as the best way either to prevent or manage the disease.

PHA National officers led Drs. Ronald Cuyco, president; Rodney Jimenez, vice president/Heart Month 2024 chair and Louella Santos, director/advocacy chair took time out of their busy schedules in Manila to join Heart Month 2024 celebration in Zamboanga City.

To kick off the Heart Fair event at the KCC Mall is the radio guesting of the group together with PHA Zamboanga Peninsula Chapter President Lowe Chiong at the city’s TV 5 Regional Program called Dateline Teleradyo.

“Prevention is always better than cure,” PHA Director Dr. Louella Santos said during the program. She urged the viewers to have themselves checked at the age of 45 or earlier if the patient is sickly, have other illnesses, or have vices such as drinking and smoking.

Dr. Cuyco added that those with a family history of hypertension and cardiovascular disease should also seek medical opinion and help early on.

Dr. Jimenez said that people experiencing severe headache, shortness of breath, nosebleed, severe anxiety, and/or feeling of pulsations in the neck or head need to see a doctor for assessment and treatment immediately.

“That's because they may be experiencing elevated blood pressure which may lead to heart disease and related complications such as heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.”


Heart Month @ 51 Goes to Zamboanga

PHA National co-organized the celebration of Heart Month 2024 with PHA ZamPen.  As the centerpiece and major host of Heart Month celebration this year, the local chapter harnessed and mobilized the members of the medical community, local government and academe. 

Held at the KCC Mall, every aspect of each activity of the Heart Month 2024 Fair was hedged on the theme, “Strengthening the Community: One Heart @ a Time.”  While the lectures on harping on the benefits of healthy lifestyle and prevention cardiology; hands-only CPR, spoken poetry and on-the-spot painting contest were going on, risk Factor Screenings like Blood Pressure taking, Fasting Blood Sugar, Cholesterol tests, BMI check; and consultation all for free were given to the Zambaguenos.

Seventeen of the 18 PHA Chapters also submitted their Heart Month video reel entries which were played during the latter part of the program. Chosen winners were: PHA Southern Tagalog, first prize; PHA Cebu, 2nd prize; and PHA Baguio (3rd prize).

Click this link to watch the winning reels:


Started in 1973, Heart Month is the oldest major Advocacy Project of the PHA. As stipulated in the Presidential Decree No. 10796, the Philippine Heart Association is the lead agency of the yearly Heart Month celebration.

From a Manila-centric major event simulated by all the PHA Chapters around the country, PHA National started to rotate the hosting of Heart Month in 2014.

Zamboanga/PHA Zamboanga Peninsula Chapter is the second city/PHA chapter in Southern Philippines to host Heart Month. The first was the PHA Davao Chapter (Davao) in 2017. 

Cebu Chapter (Cebu) was the first out-of-town host of the nationwide event in 2014; followed by PHA Western Visayas Panay (Iloilo) in 2015; S. Tagalog (Binan, Laguna) in 2016; S. Mindanao (Davao) in 2017; Western Visayas Negro Occ. (Bacolod) in 2018; Eastern Visayas (Tacloban) in 2019 and in Central Luzon (Pilar, Bataan) in 2020. It was a tradition that was inadvertently halted by the pandemic. The practice was revived last year in Heart Month 2023 and PHA National co-hosted it with PHA Cebu at the SM Seaside Cebu.

#HeartMonth2024  #heartmonth  #February  #StrengtheningtheCommunity  #PHA  #phiulippineheartassociation  #CPR  #ZamboangaCity #PHAZamPen  #zamboangatourism  #CVDs


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