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Public to avail of free meds on hypertension, diabetes from DOH

CEBU CITY, Philippines – As the number of people with heart disease increases, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) urged those experiencing signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) to have themselves checked and to avail of the free medication in the barangay health centers.
Dr. Anessa Patindol, medical officer III of the DOH-7, said the check-up and assessment are done in their respective rural health units or health centers in their barangays.
Once a patient has undergone assessment and diagnosis, the individual will be enrolled in the DOH Hypertension and Diabetes Club.
Launched in 2015, members of this club will have the chance to avail of free maintenance medicines on hypertension and diabetes.
Also, they will undergo a regular follow-up of diagnosed hypertensive and diabetic patients.
The distribution of the medication started out in January last year where those who are listed under the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) were able to avail.
But Patindol said they are no longer limiting the availability of these medicines to those who are listed under the NHTS only.
She added that anyone who wishes to avail of it may have just have to follow the assessment and check-up process for them to be enrolled with the DOH Hypertension and Diabetes Club.
In a data presented by Patindol during the recent Association of Government Information Officers – Philippine Information Agency Central Visayas (AGIO-PIA 7) Forum, she indicated that there are now 65, 564 hypertensive patients and 12,946 diabetics that are enrolled under their program as of December 2016.
Patindol also said the DOH is hoping to add insulin in their list of free medicines.
Currently, DOH offers Losartan, Amlodipine and Metoprolol for the maintenance medication of hypertensive patients and Metformin for those who have diabetes.
Since hypertension and diabetes are considered lifestyle diseases, Patindol urged the public to maintain a healthy lifestyle and also religiously take their maintenance medicines.
“Healthy lifestyle lisod iimplement but disiplina lang sa kaugalingon (Healthy lifestyle is difficult to implement but you need to discipline yourself),” Patindol said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.