As the primary responsible for implementing health in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) with its private sector and development partners, the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the Healthy Pilipinas website, the first health and wellness website designed for Filipinos.
“We launched Healthy Plipinas to help the majority of Filipinos access accurate information, especially in these times when misinformation and misinformation are rampant on various sites online. When users visit Healthy Pilipinas, they are assured of having accurate and reliable health information,” said Dr Beverly Lorraine Ho, director of the Office of Health and Promotion, DOH.
“While the dissemination of factual information could save lives, the proliferation of false or inaccurate information poses a serious threat to people.‘s lives and public health,” noted Mr. Teodoro Padilla, Executive Director, PHAP. “At PHAP, we have joined the Ministry of Health in their campaign to promote the use of verified medical facts to empower people and make health decisions based on accurate information.“
“USAID has always supported its DOH partners in strengthening sources of correct information in this time of widespread disinformation. It is important for the average Filipino to get accurate and reliable health information, especially in this time of COVID. Access to quality information is part of improving health outcomes,” noted Mr. Hoang Bui, overseas health development manager, USAID.
Main features of the Healthy Pilipinas website
The Healthy Pilipinas website is aligned with existing and future Ministry of Health initiatives. One section of the website contains the Seven Healthy Habits campaign which encourages the public to adopt healthy behaviors. Additionally, it provides unified messages and information regarding the pandemic and vaccination efforts in conjunction with the COVID-19 and ResBakuna campaign pages of the DOH main website.
“The website presents an A to Z list of diseases, their signs, symptoms, prevention tips and treatment. There is a COVID-19 page with answers to frequently asked questions by Filipinos. COVID-19 is not our only health problem. Thus, the website gives information on various ways to stay healthy. This‘does not only concern illnesses but also well-being,” describes Dr. Gideon Lasco, a medical anthropologist.
PHAP members Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Pfizer are also supporting the DOH-led information initiative to improve healthcare for Filipinos.
“As more Filipinos turn to digital platforms and social media to learn about various health issues, we believe in the positive impact the Healthy Pilipinas website can create. This unified data platform makes essential, up-to-date and accurate health information accessible at a time of an epidemic of disinformation. As a research-driven company, Boehringer Ingelheim‘Its primary focus is on meeting unmet health needs and addressing global health challenges with innovative solutions for humans and animals, and that’s exactly what Healthy Pilipinas offers. By supporting it, we are contributing to the Ministry of Health‘s objective of promoting health and safety for all,” said Boehringer Ingelheim Managing Director Mr. Yee Kok Cheong.
“Novartis is privileged to be one of the Department of Health (DOH) partners in the development of the Healthy Pilipinas website. In line with Novartis’ commitment to patients and caregivers, we are continuously working to provide educational opportunities that empower patients to take care of their health and seek the right care,” said Mr. Jugo Tsumura, President and CEO of Novartis Healthcare Philippines.
“Health literacy is crucial to promote better health care outcomes. We congratulate the DOH for the innovation ‘Healthy Philippines‘ campaign which is the right step towards providing holistic information that advocates healthy lifestyle choices for all Filipinos. The campaign is in line with Pfizer’s commitment to put patients first and provide them with medical and treatment solutions rooted in scientific research and evidence-based medical innovation,“ said Eddie Reyes, Acting Country Director, Pfizer Philippines.
Next steps for a healthy Philippines
According to Dr. Ho, the site is currently in Phase 1. Healthy Pilipinas has a feedback mechanism that allows users to leave comments and comments to further improve the site.‘s interface and content.
“In the future, we want to integrate more features on the website that will address the concerns of our Filipino workers abroad. We also want to add a database for signs and symptoms of diseases as well as a database for drugs. Many Filipinos search for drugs online,” noted Dr. Lasco.
“Through the Healthy Pilipinas website, Filipinos can research diseases prevalent in the country and how they can protect themselves and their families as well as how to improve their well-being. Information is currently available in English and Tagalog, and soon in Cebuano,” Mr Bui added.
The Philippines is one of the largest internet users in the Asia Pacific region, which underscores the need to reach Filipinos online as our world becomes increasingly digital. DOH’s Healthy Pilipinas website embodies its unwavering commitment to promoting the health and safety of all Filipinos around the world. Visit www.healthypilipinas.ph to learn more.
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