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PIA Press Release

DOH observes health awareness programs in September

Tacloban City (September 14) -- The Department of Health (DOH) is observing several health awareness programs this month of September.

The whole month of September is observed as Generics Awareness Month. At the same time it is also the Liver Cancer Awareness Month. Aside from the monthly observance, the first week of September is the National Epilepsy Awareness Week.

Moreover, September 2-9 is Obesity Prevention and Awareness Week while September 26 is celebrated as the World Heart Day.

The Generics Awareness Month which is celebrated in the month of September aims to increase public awareness on the availability of generic medicines program of government to ensure that affordable, high quality, safe and effective drugs and medicines are always available, especially to the poor. H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made a commitment to lower the prices of drugs and medicines frequently bought by the poor by 50%.

September has been declared Liver Cancer month to raise public consciousness about this illness that has an unusually high incidence in our country. Liver cancer is only the eighth most common form of cancer worldwide, but in the Philippines, Department of Health (DoH) and Philippine Cancer Society statistics show that it is the third most common form of cancer among men and sixth among women.

This first of September is the National Epilepsy Awareness Week with the objective of getting the interest of the public into one of the most serious common brain problems-epilepsy. Epilepsy is a recurrent paroxysmal disorder of the central nervous system in which there are sudden brief attacks of altered consciousness, unusual motor and sensory activity, or inappropriate behavior.

Typical epileptic attacks begin with the person suddenly having loss of consciousness and motor control characterized by momentary stiffening of the limbs followed by violent jerking and twitching of the muscles, which can be localized or generalized. When people see such attacks and they are unaware that the person suffers from epilepsy, they find it a frightening experience.

The Obesity Prevention and Awareness Week from September 2-9 brings to focus on obesity and the emergence of the so-called nutrition-related lifestyle diseases or non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular ailments, osteoporosis, and cancer, brought about by unhealthy living and poor diet habits. (PIA 8) [top]

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