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Health Dept launches ‘Go4Health’ campaign

Pia Ranada

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The movement encourages Pinoys to stop smoking, eat healthy, exercise and go slow on the beer

GO FOR HEALTH. The Department of Health launches a healthy lifestyle information campaign and movement. Image from 'Pilipinas Go4Health' Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder are the cause of death for 54% — or more than half — of Filipinos. Of these, 30% to 32% are under 60 years old.

Th reduction of these distressing figures is the Department of Health’s latest target. The DOH has allocated P10 million for the “Pilipinas Go4Health” movement, a program that aims to prevent and control the prevalence of these diseases known collectively as non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Active lifestyle

The keyword in this program is “go” since it underlines the importance of leading active lifestyles. According to a DOH press release, the movement is divided into 4 parts: “go smoke-free,” “go sustansya,” “go sigla” and “go slow tagay.”

With the goal of being a nationwide healthy lifestyle movement, “Pilipinas Go4Health” wants to encourage Filipinos to quit smoking and moderate their alcohol consumption, habits which can lead to or exacerbate cardiovascular disease, and lung and liver complications. 

DOH Secretary Enrique Ona stresses the importance of an active versus sedentary lifestyle. Not getting enough exercise can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, cancer and even depression and anxiety.

Many Filipinos also have to correct the misconception that exercise is only for the young.

“One of the keys to good health is regular exercise. The human body is designed for motion. Daily physical activity is for everyone, from the very young to the very old,” says Ona.

The “go sustansya” aspect of the movement highlights the importance of a proper diet which, according to Ona, means “more vegetables and fruits, and less meat, processed foods, salt, and sugar.”

Be in the know

“Pilipinas Go4Health” is primarily an information campaign. NDCs are easily prevented, according to Ona, but many Filipinos die from them simply because they did not have access to the right information.

“When it comes to their health, Filipinos need to be liberated from misinformation or lack of information, indifference, and careless practices and habits,” adds the Health Secretary.

Citizens are asked to register on the program’s website to get updates and news that can help them lead healthier lifestyles. According to the same press release, those who register will get access to “celebrity champions” and resource persons. 

Though P10 million is the initial budget allocated for the program’s one-year implementation, Ona is confident the budget will grow because of several partnerships with other government agencies and the private sector. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.