In our day and age, many Filipinos are clueless about their own health and the importance of having a Department of Health in the Philippines. This is due to a number of factors ranging from financial constraints to sheer negligence. It is because of this that funds allocated for the development of national health care programs have been poorly utilized. And while those in government have realized this, they seem to be struggling with the solution. These efforts include using DOH to solve people’s medical concerns and not just provide faceless government assistance.
At present, the department not only focuses on primary healthcare provisioning, but has become a one-stop service for people. It is basically a function of the government that is in charge of providing all services related to health in simple and accessible ways.
Through effective health service delivery and preventive methods, the department endeavors to ensure the well-being of every Filipino citizen. In this post, we go into a deep dive into what makes this controversial department (as of late) one of the most important agencies for Filipinos. Read on.
What is the meaning of DOH?
DOH stands for Department of Health in the Philippines.
What is the Purpose of DOH?
The Department of Health (DOH) is the national government agency responsible for ensuring the delivery of a healthy population through its programs and services, as well as protecting and promoting the health of all Filipinos.
The DOH holds the over-all technical authority on health as it is a national health policy-maker and regulatory institution. Basically, the DOH has three major roles in the health sector: (1) leadership in health; (2) enabler and capacity builder; and (3) administrator of specific services.
Its mandate is to develop national plans, technical standards, and guidelines on health. Aside from being the regulator of all health services and products, the DOH is the provider of special tertiary health care services and technical assistance to health providers and stakeholders.
The Department of Health (DOH) is the lead government agency responsible for ensuring that Filipinos have access to quality health services, and are protected from communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. It is also responsible for providing a safe environment conducive to good health through integrated pest management programs, effective disaster preparedness and response systems, and the promotion of good nutrition among other things.
The DOH adheres to the highest values of work, which are:
- Integrity – The DOH believes in upholding truth and pursuing honesty, accountability, and consistency in performing its functions.
- Excellence – The DOH continuously strive for the best by fostering innovation, effectiveness and efficiency, pro-action, dynamism, and openness to change.
- Compassion and respect for human dignity – Whilst DOH upholds the quality of life, respect for human dignity is encouraged by working with sympathy and benevolence for the people in need.
- Commitment – With all the stakeholders’ hearts and minds, the Department commits to achieve its vision for the health and development of future generations.
- Professionalism – The DOH performs its functions in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
- Teamwork – The DOH employees work together with a result-oriented mindset.
- Stewardship of the health of the people – The Department of Health is committed to providing the best possible health care to the people. It also aims to protect the environment through its sustainable development.
History of the DOH
On September 10, 1898, Americans formed a military Board of Health, which officially became operational on September 29. Frank Bourns was named as its president, while C. L. M. Maus was appointed as its first health commissioner. The Board of Health’s primary function was to provide medical care to American troops, but hostilities between the Americans and Filipinos eventually ended in 1901, and a civilian Board of Health was established.
During the 1900s, over 200,000 people died due to the worst epidemic in the Philippines, and around three percent of the country’s population was wiped out. In response to this, the Americans established various facilities, including a government laboratory that was built in 1901.
The Americans, led by Dean Worcester, constructed a medical school in 1905. It was modeled after a school at Johns Hopkins University, which was regarded as one of the best in the world at that time. In 1909, nursing instruction was also started at the Philippine Normal School. They also improved the country’s sewer system.
The Bureau of Health was reorganized in 1915 and became known as the Philippine Health Service. In the succeeding years, various health institutions and leadership positions were given to Filipinos. On January 1, 1919, the first Filipino to head the department of health was Dr. Vicente De Jesus.
After a reorganization in 1933, the agency reverted to being called the Bureau of Health. During this period, it also pursued its journal, The Health Messenger. This led to the establishment of various social centers and health clinics.
When Frank Murphy became the new United States High Commissioner in 1936, he noted that the Philippines was the best health country in the world.
Following the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Fabella was named as the head of the Bureau of Health. He conducted a review of the agency’s operations in 1936. He found that there were over 30 hospitals, 11 social health centers, over 200 puericulture centers, and over 1,500 dispensary facilities.
During the 1940s, the agency was reorganized into a government agency known as the Department of Public Welfare and Health, headed by Fabella. Its main priorities during this period were fighting various diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.
During the time of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the National Government was dissolved and replaced by the Japanese Army’s Central Administrative Organization. Under Commissioner Claro Recto, the Health Department was renamed.
In 1944, President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94, which created the Department of Health. Antonio Villarama was appointed as the new secretary of the agency. Two other government agencies were also created under the new department: a Bureau of Quarantine and a Bureau of Hospitals. The Institute of Nutrition was then established in 1948 to coordinate the activities of the various agencies.
In 1958, Executive Order 288 allowed the Department of Health to implement a partial decentralization of its powers. Eight regional health offices were then established. The new secretary of the agency was given the power to delegate some of his or her duties to the regional directors and office staff members.
One of the main priorities of the administration of the late President Ferdinand Marcos was maintaining the country’s health infrastructure. During the 1970s, four specialty hospitals were established. One of these was the Philippine Heart Center, which was established by First Lady Imelda Marcos.
In 1979, a medical center for children was also established. In 1983, a kidney and transplant institute was additionally established. This was followed by the Lung Center Of The Philippines under the leadership of Health Minister Dr. Garcia.
The Department of Health was then transformed into a Ministry of Health under the new parliamentary form of government on June 2, 1978. Under the leadership of Dr. Gatmaitan, the agency was officially renamed on April 13, 1987. A year later, the Department of Health was again established under the leadership of Dr. Alfredo Bengzon.
In December 2016, Health Secretary Janyn Jean Rossel-Ulial announced that the government would start paying the hospital bills of poor individuals in 2017. She noted that the department was able to handle the backlog of these bills due to the increased budget for 2017.
The national budget for 2017 allocated P96.336 billion for the Department of Health. Aside from the construction of new facilities, the agency also received additional funds for the rehabilitation of drug users and the treatment of poor individuals. According to the health secretary, the poor patients who avail of services in government hospitals do not have to present their Philhealth cards to receive assistance.
According to the health secretary, the program is being implemented by President Duterte to help the poor in the country. She noted that the government will continue to partner with government hospitals in providing quality healthcare services.
Senator Loren Legarda, who was then the chairperson of the Senate committee on finance, said that the proposed national budget for 2017 would provide adequate funds for the implementation of the country’s healthcare program. She noted that an additional 3 billion would be allocated for the Philhealth insurance program.
Functions and Responsibilities of DOH
The Department of Health (DOH) is the executive agency of the Philippine government that provides the country with the best possible health care. It is responsible for regulating the quality of health care and the promotion of public health. As a department, it is tasked to carry out the following functions at the national down to the local level:
Policy advocacy and development – The DOH is tasked to formulate, promote and implement national policies on health. It also provides technical assistance and training to local government units (LGUs) in order for them to achieve their goals in the field of public health.
Networking and collaboration – The DOH works with other government agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) among others. It also collaborates with non-government organizations, medical institutions and even individuals who are interested in promoting public health.
Health Leadership and Governance – The DOH manages the health system to ensure that it is effective and efficient. It promotes public health and medical research, provides technical assistance to local governments through its Regional Offices, and provides support services to healthcare facilities.
Health Promotion – The DOH aims to raise public awareness on health issues and promote healthy lifestyles among Filipinos. It collaborates with other government agencies, non-government organizations and the private sector to develop programs that target specific groups such as children, youth, women and senior citizens.
Investment Planning and Budgeting – The DOH plans, budgets and disburses funds for its activities. It also monitors the implementation of programs and projects to ensure that they are effective and efficient.
Health Program Management and Monitoring – The DOH manages and monitors the implementation of its programs and projects. It also conducts research on health issues.
Surveillance, Disasters, and Disease Outbreaks – The DOH monitors the health of Filipinos, conducts research on diseases and conditions, and provides medical response to disasters and disease outbreaks. It also conducts public health education and information campaigns to prevent the spread of diseases, such as dengue, measles and tuberculosis. It provides disaster management support during times of calamities, such as earthquakes and floods.
Drugs and Supplies Management – The DOH procures and manages drugs and supplies for the country’s health facilities. It also provides technical assistance to local government units in managing drugstores. The DOH also ensures that health facilities have adequate supplies of essential medicines and vaccines to provide treatment for patients. It also provides technical assistance to local government units in procuring and managing drugs and supplies for their health facilities.
Laws Enacted by the DOH
The DOH has the authority to enact laws that deal with a wide range of issues. These laws include:
- Laws that regulate the manufacture and sale of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, and tobacco products
- Laws that protect public health through disease prevention programs such as the immunization program and rabies control program
- Laws that protect the environment through programs such as water quality control, land use planning and management, solid waste management, and hazardous waste control
- Laws that promote health education and disease prevention through public information campaigns on HIV/AIDS, tobacco use and abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, household chemicals exposure among children, and so on.
Here are some of the most important healthcare laws enacted by the agency:
Republic Act 349 – Legalizes the use of human organs for surgical, medical and scientific purposes.
Republic Act 1054 – Requires the owner, lessee or operator of any commercial, industrial or agricultural establishment to furnish free emergency, medical and dental assistance to his employees and laborers.
Republic Act 1080 – Civil Service Eligibility
Republic Act 1082 – Rural Health Unit Act
Republic Act 1136 – Act recognizing the Division of Tuberculosis in the DOH
Republic Act 1612 – Privilege Tax/Professional tax/omnibus tax should be paid January 31 of each year
Republic Act 1891 – Act strengthening Health and Dental services in the rural areas
Republic Act 2382 – Philippine Medical Act which regulates the practice of medicines in the Philippines
Republic Act 2644 – Philippine Midwifery Act
Republic Act 3573 – Law on reporting of Communicable Diseases
Republic Act 4073 – Liberalized treatment of Leprosy
Republic Act 4226 – Hospital Licensure Act requires all hospital to be licensed before it can operative
Republic Act 5181 – Act prescribing permanent residence and reciprocity as qualifications for any examination or registration for the practice of any profession in the Philippines
Republic Act 5821 – The Pharmacy Act
Republic Act 5901 – 40 hours work for hospital workers
Republic Act 6111 – Medicare Act
Republic Act 6365 – Established a National Policy on Population and created the Commission on population
Republic Act 6425 – Dangerous Drug Act of 1992
Republic Act 6511 – Act to standardize the examination and registration fees charged by the National Boards, and for other purposes.
Republic Act 6675 – Generics Act of 1988
Republic Act 6713 – Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees
Republic Act 6725 – Act strengthening the prohibition on discrimination against women with respect to terms and condition of employment
Republic Act 6727 – Wage Rationalization Act
Republic Act 6758 – Standardized the salaries
Republic Act 6809 – Majority age is 18 years old
Republic Act 6972 – Day care center in every Barangay
Republic Act 7160 – Local Government Code
Republic Act 7164 – Philippine Nursing Act of 1991
Republic Act 7170 – Law that govern organ donation
Republic Act 7192 – Women in development nation building
Republic Act 7277 – Magna Carta of Disabled Persons
Republic Act 7305 – The Magna Carta of public Health Workers
Republic Act 7392 – Philippine Midwifery Act of 1992
Republic Act 7432 – Senior Citizen Act
Republic Act 7600 – Rooming In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992
Republic Act 7610 – Special protection of children against abuse, exploitation and discrimination act
Republic Act 7624 – Drug Education Law
Republic Act 7641 – New Retirement Law
Republic Act 7658 – An act prohibiting the employment of children below 15 years of age
Republic Act 7719 – National Blood Service Act of 1994
Republic Act 7875 – National Health Insurance Act of 1995
Republic Act 7876 – Senior Citizen Center of every Barangay
Republic Act 7877 – Anti-sexual harassment Act of 1995
Republic Act 7883 – Barangay Health workers Benefits and Incentives Act of 1992
Republic Act 8042 – Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995
Republic Act 8172 – Asin Law
Republic Act 8187 – Paternity Leave Act of 1995
Republic Act 8203 – Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs
Republic Act 8282 – Social Security Law of 1997 (amended RA 1161)
Republic Act 8291 – Government Service Insurance System Act of 1997 (amended PD 1146)
Republic Act 8344 – Hospital Doctors to treat emergency cases referred for treatment
Republic Act 8423 – Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Medicine
Republic Act 8424 – Personal tax Exemption
Republic Act 8749 – The Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999
Republic Act 8981 – PRC Modernization Act of 2000
Republic Act 9165 – Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act 2002
Republic Act 9173 – Philippine Nursing Act of 2002
Republic Act 9288 – Newborn Screening Act
Presidential Decree 46 – An act making it punishable for any public officials or employee, whether of the national or local government, to receive directly or indirectly any gifts or valuable things
Presidential Decree 48 – Limits benefits of paid maternity leave privileges to four children
Presidential Decree 69 – Limits the number of children to four (4) tax exemption purposes
Presidential Decree 79 – Population Commission
Presidential Decree 147 – Declares April and May as National Immunization Day
Presidential Decree 148 – Regulation on Woman and Child Labor Law
Presidential Decree 166 – Strengthened Family Planning program by promoting participation of private sector in the formulation and implementation of program planning policies.
Presidential Decree 169 – Requiring Attending Physician and/or persons treating injuries resulting from any form of violence.
Presidential Decree 223 – Professional Regulation Commission
Presidential Decree 442 – Labor Code Promotes and protects employees self-organization and collective bargaining rights. Provision for a 10% right differential pay for hospital workers.
Presidential Decree 491 – Nutrition Program
Presidential Decree 539 – Declaring last week of October every as Nurse’s Week. October 17, 1958
Presidential Decree 541 – Allowing former Filipino professionals to practice their respective professions in the Philippines so they can provide the latent and expertise urgently needed by the homeland
Presidential Decree 568 – Role of Public Health midwives has been expanded after the implementation of the Restructed Health Care Delivery System (RHCDS)
Presidential Decree 603 – Child and Youth Welfare Act / Provision on Child Adoption
Presidential Decree 626 – Employee Compensation and State Insurance Fund. Provide benefits to person covered by SSS and GSIS for immediate injury, illness and disability.
Presidential Decree 651 – All births and deaths must be registered 30 days after delivery.
Presidential Decree 825 – Providing penalty for improper disposal garbage and other forms of uncleanliness and for other purposes.
Presidential Decree 851 – 13th Month pay
Presidential Decree 856 – Code of Sanitation
Presidential Decree 965 – Requiring applicants for Marriage License to receive instruction on family planning and responsible parenthood.
Presidential Decree 996 – Provides for compulsory basic immunization for children and infants below 8 years of age.
Presidential Decree 1083 – Muslim Holidays
Presidential Decree 1359 – A law allowing applicants for Philippine citizenship to take Board Examination pending their naturalization.
Presidential Decree 1519 – Gives medicare benefits to all government employees regardless of status of appointment.
Presidential Decree 1636 – requires compulsory membership in the SSS and self-employed
Presidential Decree 4226 – Hospital Licensure Act
Proclamation No.6 – UN’s goal of Universal Child Immunization; involved NGO’s in the immunization program
Proclamation No. 118 – Professional regulation Week is June 16 to 22
Proclamation No. 499 – National AIDS Awareness Day
Proclamation No. 539 – Nurse’s Week – Every third week of October
Proclamation No. 1275 – Declaring the third week of October every year as “Midwifery Week”
List of Programs and Services
ADOLESCENT HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The AHDP is a program that aims to help adolescent girls and young women develop their health and well-being. It is carried out through a framework that’s based on the Convention on the Rights Of Children.
The goal of the program is to provide adolescent-friendly facilities and programs that will help them access quality healthcare services. This is done through the implementation of an administrative order issued by the Department of Health in 2013.
AEDES-BORNE VIRAL DISEASES PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM
Dengue is one of the most common aedes-borne viral diseases that affects Filipinos. It can lead to severe illness and even death. Aside from this, other infections such as chikungunya and zika are also being treated to prevent their transmission.
The goal of this program is to expand the scope and number of interventions that are available to prevent and control the transmission of various aedes-borne viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and zika.
BARANGAY NUTRITION SCHOLAR (BNS) PROGRAM
The goal of the BNS program is to provide training and supervision to local nutrition scholars and volunteers. These individuals are expected to improve the quality of nutrition in their communities.
In response to the increasing number of children suffering from malnutrition, the Philippines’ President issued a Presidential Decree that requires the deployment of a BNS in every local government area to monitor their nutritional status.
BELLY GUD FOR HEALTH
Being overweight and obese is a serious health issue that affects the country’s population. It is also associated with the development of various non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and kidney diseases. These diseases are among the leading causes of death and disability in the country.
Overnutrition is a major factor that contributes to the reduction in productivity and economic growth. It can also lead to various medical conditions.
In 2012, over 890 individuals were taken waist circumference tests by the Health Office. Out of these, 362 or 46.5% had waist circumference that was above ideal levels. This is a simple and effective way to measure one’s central obesity. It can also be used to identify individuals at risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
In order to promote healthy lifestyles among its employees, the Health Office partnered with a national agency for disease prevention and control to launch a campaign known as Belly Gud for Health in 2013. This year, the organization will repeat the program’s efforts to encourage individuals to lose weight.
This year, the Health Office will again conduct a campaign to encourage its executives and employees to maintain a healthy waist circumference. The goal of the program is to help individuals reach a target waist circumference of 80 centimeters for women and 90 centimeters for men.
BLOOD DONATION PROGRAM
The National Blood Services Act was passed in 1994 to encourage individuals to donate blood. It aims to provide a safe and sufficient supply of blood to meet the needs of the patients. It also aims to educate the public about the importance of donating blood.
The National Voluntary Blood Services Program (NVBSP) is targeting the youth this year to encourage them to become blood donors. This program is part of the agency’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood. In line with Republic Act 7719, the agency also aims to create a public consciousness about the need for blood donations.
According to the data collected by the National Blood Services Program, over 600,000 units of blood were collected in 2009. Almost half of these were from voluntary blood donations, while the remaining were from replacement donations. This year, various provinces have already reached the 100% voluntary blood donation mark. The Department of Health is hoping that more people will become regular donors to ensure that the country’s blood supply is maintained.
CHRONIC-KIDNEY DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL
In the Philippines, most of the increases in total mortality and morbidity have been caused by non-communicable diseases, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD). If left untreated, this condition can lead to more severe complications, such as end-stage kidney disease.
The various interventions that are available to people with chronic kidney disease (CKDs) include kidney transplants and dialysis. Due to the high costs of care and the increasing number of people with this condition, the need for effective and efficient management has become a national concern. This program aims to reinforce the strategies that are designed to prevent and control CKDs.
COMMITTEE OF EXAMINERS FOR MASSAGE THERAPY (CEMT)
The Department of Health established the Committee of Examiners for the Massage Therapy to regulate the practice of this profession in accordance with the provisions of the Philippines’ sanitation code and Executive Order 102 of 1999. The CEMT’s main function is to ensure that only those who are qualified to practice massage therapy are licensed to do so.
COMMITTEE OF EXAMINERS FOR UNDERTAKERS AND EMBALMERS
The Department of Health (DOH) has created the Central Examining Unit for Embalmed Bodies (CEU) to regulate the practice of mortuary and burial procedures in the country. This was made possible through Presidential Decree No. 856, as well as Executive Order No. 102, 1999.
DENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
Although gum and tooth decay do not directly cause death or disability, they can weaken a person’s defenses and lead to infections and other serious conditions. Some of these include arthritis, heart disease, and endocarditis.
Aside from being physically disfigured, oral diseases can also affect a person’s social interactions, income, and work performance. Poor oral health can lead to a child’s poor academic performance and restricted-activity days. In fact, children with poor oral health are 12 times more prone to experiencing these issues.
In the Philippines, oral and dental diseases are known to be the primary causes of absenteeism among school children. This is why it is important that the government and private sectors work together to address these issues.
EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Early childhood refers to the development of children from birth until they reach the age of 3. It involves a wide range of activities and skills, including physical-motor, cognitive, and social-emotional development. These effects last throughout childhood and into adulthood.
The concept of early childhood care and development (ECCD) is a multi-sectoral approach that aims to provide children with the best possible start in life. It involves providing them with the necessary resources and support to develop their physical and academic skills.
Early childhood education and care includes providing a variety of opportunities for children to develop their skills and confidence. It also involves responsive and secure caregiving.
EMERGING AND RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASE PROGRAM
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the country still has a long way to go in addressing its various inadequacies when it comes to preparing for and managing large-scale outbreaks of infectious diseases. This program aims to establish an organized system that will focus on planning, developing, and managing outbreaks.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
Environmental health (EH) related diseases are no longer a public health problem in the Philippines, based on the DOH Strategic Plan 2019-2022. The comprehensive and integrated approach directed towards eliminating EH-related diseases through 100% participation of stakeholders has gained tremendous momentum since its inception 10 years ago.
EXPANDED PROGRAM ON IMMUNIZATION
The goal of the EPI was to ensure that children and infants have access to vaccines that are recommended for childhood and infant health. In 1976, the program included six vaccine-preventable diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, tuberculosis, and pertussis. In 1986, over 20% of children were fully immunized under the EPI.
FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM
Unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality are some of the consequences of poor family planning. It also contributes to the failure of modern families to meet the needs of their growing children. The National Family Planning Program seeks to provide a comprehensive and accurate information and services to all Filipinos.
The goal of this program is to increase the prevalence of modern contraceptives to 30% from 25% in 2017.
FILARIASIS ELIMINATION PROGRAM
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Filariasis, which is caused by parasites that can be transmitted through mosquito bites, various provinces and regions in the country are still experiencing this disease. This program aims to eliminate this public health issue through a comprehensive approach that involves the use of preventive and treatment measures.
FOOD AND WATERBORNE DISEASES PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM
Food and waterborne diseases (FWBDs) are a group of illnesses that typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. They can be acquired through the consumption of contaminated food or water. These illnesses are usually spread by microorganisms that can be harmful to humans.
The objective of this program is to reduce the mortality and morbidity caused by food and waterborne diseases by developing effective case management and surveillance systems.
HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE AGEING PROGRAM
The Healthy and productive ageing program is a part of the expanded senior citizens act of 2003 and the 2010 legislation that provides for the establishment of a comprehensive program aimed at promoting the well-being and quality of life of older individuals. It aims to provide them with the necessary resources and services to maintain their independence and improve their health.
HIV, AIDS AND STI PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM
The goal of the NASPCP is to prevent new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths, and discrimination against people living with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It aims to improve the availability of preventive health care services and reduce the estimated annual cases of these infections to less than 7,000 by 2022.
The Philippines’ national immunization program was launched on July 12, 1976. It was supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organization. The goal of the program was to ensure that all children and infants have access to vaccines.
The program aims to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates among children under 5 years old due to certain vaccine-preventable diseases. These include diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, and measles. Currently, the immunization program provides effective and safe vaccines against these illnesses to infants, pregnant women, and senior citizens.
INFANT AND YOUNG CHILD FEEDING PROGRAM
The first two years of a child’s life are very critical as they are the time when the body begins developing strong and lasting health foundations. This is the time when breast milk is needed to nourish and develop their bodies. This program aims to provide mothers with the necessary skills and training to provide their children with the best possible nutrition.
This includes increasing the number of mothers breastfeeding their babies. It also helps them develop other feeding skills and ensure proper nutrition for their kids.
INTEGRATED HELMINTH CONTROL PROGRAM
In the Philippines, soil-transmitted diseases such as STH are a public health concern. These are caused by parasites that are commonly found in the soil. Aside from poor physical health, they can also affect children and adults.
The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STH) in the country is high among high-risk groups and vulnerable individuals. This program aims to reduce the STH prevalence in the country to less than 20% and the prevalence of MHII to less than 2%.
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF CHILDHOOD ILLNESS PROGRAM
The concept of integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) is a strategy that aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with various childhood illnesses. It was first developed by the WHO and UNICEF in 1992. Today, over a hundred countries have adopted it.
The goal of the strategy is to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses among children under five years of age, as well as promote better growth and development among them. It involves the use of various preventive and curative measures, as well as health facilities.
LEPROSY CONTROL PROGRAM
The Philippines has officially declared its status as a no-go area for leprosy. This is due to the efforts of the public health sector, which has successfully managed to reduce the number of cases in the country. However, there are still areas of concern.
The goal of the country’s National Leprosy Control Program is to eliminate the disease by 2022. This involves providing comprehensive and integrated services to all individuals with the condition.
MALARIA CONTROL AND ELIMINATION PROGRAM
Malaria is a life-threatening illness caused by parasites that can be transmitted by anopheles mosquitoes. It can be treated through blood transfusion or by sharing contaminated needles. However, it can still lead to severe illness and even death if it is not treated properly. The Philippines used to have a high incidence of this disease. However, due to the country’s efforts in fighting it, cases and deaths have significantly decreased.
The goal of this program is to eliminate malaria by implementing a health system-focused approach that aims to provide comprehensive coverage of treatment and diagnosis. It also strengthens the capacity of the local health care system and the human resources needed to manage it.
MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM
The Mental Health Act of 1996 is a law that aims to enhance the delivery of mental health services to the public. It also promotes the protection of the rights of people with mental health conditions.
The National Mental Health Program of the Philippines is committed to ensuring that the law is implemented properly. It has a comprehensive strategy that includes balanced scorecards and indicators that will help improve the quality of mental health care in the country.
MICRONUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION PROGRAM
Despite the various achievements that the country has made in addressing the issue of malnutrition, the prevalence of this disease remains high. It is known that poor nutrition can lead to intergenerational consequences. Factors such as maternal health and access to healthcare can also affect the development of children.
Early childhood development is very important for children as it allows them to develop strong health foundations. This program aims to provide nutrition programs and supplementation to pregnant women and infants to help them avoid micronutrient deficiencies.
NEWBORN HEARING SCREENING PROGRAM
One in every 1,000 births in the world is affected by hearing loss. Studies have shown that around 1 in 724 babies in a rural population in Bulacan has severe hearing loss. This figure is significantly higher than the global prevalence of this condition.
In the Philippines, around 0.14% of newborns have profound hearing loss. This is caused by the lack of access to hearing screening and intervention programs. In 2008, a law was passed calling for universal newborn hearing screening. Its primary objective is to provide early detection and intervention services.
Through this program, the government aims to provide early detection and intervention services to newborn babies with hearing loss.
NEWBORN SCREENING PROGRAM
A newborn screening program is a vital part of the public health strategy that aims to prevent children from suffering from mental retardation or other developmental disorders. It can help identify these conditions early and provide them with the necessary treatment and long-term care.
In most developed countries, newborn care has been an integral part of their routine for over five decades. In the Philippines, this service was first introduced in 1996.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM
The goal of the Occupational Health Program is to prevent and control diseases and injuries among workers. It initially focuses on sectors that are at high risk of experiencing these types of hazards.
In addition to public health workers, other types of workers such as those in transport, agriculture, and small-scale mining are also expected to benefit from the implementation of occupational health and safety regulations. These regulations are being implemented through the joint efforts of various government agencies.
Through the Universal Health Care Law, this program aims to improve the accessibility of occupational and primary health services.
ORAL HEALTH PROGRAM
According to the 2018 National Survey of Oral Health, about 72% of the country’s population is affected by dental caries, while 50% suffer from periodontal diseases. These conditions can lead to various health problems, such as facial pain and chronic mouth inflammation.
The goal of this program is to reduce the risk factors associated with oral health by promoting good hygiene and reducing the consumption of sugar. It also aims to increase the number of people using fluoridation toothpastes by 25% by 2021. To achieve this, the program will additionally implement the WinS/EHCP in public schools and childcare centers by 2021.
PHILIPPINE ORGAN DONATION AND TRANSPLANT PROGRAM
The rate of organ transplantation and donation in this country is significantly low. Various factors contribute to this low rate, such as the lack of knowledge about the procedures and the availability of suitable facilities and people for these operations. Organ trafficking is also prevalent due to the poverty rate.
The goal of this program is to ensure that all organs are donated and that the procedures are carried out in a proper manner. It also aims to prevent organ trafficking and promote the national self-sufficiency in organ donations.
PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS PROGRAM
The goal of the Prevention of Blindness Program is to reduce the burden of visual impairment by establishing comprehensive eye and visual health programs that are designed to ensure that all individuals have equal access to quality care. This program’s central feature is the establishment of community eye health programs that are coordinated with local government units.
The PBP is built on the principles of a dynamic community that is driven by the best use of available resources. It aims to improve the health outcomes of Filipinos by establishing a functional and valued service delivery network. It also aims to strengthen financial freedom when it comes to accessing these services through the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.
RABIES PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM
Rabies is a contagious disease that affects humans and animals that can be transmitted through a bite or scratch. This is considered a serious public health issue in the Philippines, and it kills about 200 people annually. There are effective and safe vaccines that can prevent the disease in both animals and humans.
Rabies is a neglected disease that can be easily eradicated through the availability of vaccines and education about its prevention. However, due to its prevalence and lack of awareness, it is still difficult to control it. This program aims to help prevent the disease by providing vaccinations and educating the public.
SAFE MOTHERHOOD PROGRAM
The goal of the National Safe Motherhood Program is to provide safe motherhood for all women in the Philippines. It also aims to address the unmet needs of adolescent mothers for family planning services. This program is carried out through a variety of activities and programs, such as providing access to quality healthcare.
Poor sanitation and human waste management can have negative impacts on the environment and health. These practices can also lead to infections, including those caused by parasites and bacterial pathogens. Through the Sanitation Program, we aim to promote the proper management of domestic and human wastewater.
This program was established under the requirements of PD 856, which is the Philippines’ sanitation code. It aims to provide accessible facilities and improve policies that promote proper sanitation.
SCHISTOSOMIASIS CONTROL AND ELIMINATION PROGRAM
Schistosomiasis is a chronic and acute disease caused by parasites that are commonly found in the Philippines. It can be transmitted through the contact of infected individuals with fresh water. The disease has a population of approximately 12.4 million in the country and almost 2.7 million people are directly exposed to it. To prevent the disease from spreading, the government has launched a program to eliminate it in all endemic areas by 2025.
SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAM
One of the most common behavioral risk factors that contributes to the development of various non-communicable diseases is tobacco use. It is known to increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. It is additionally one of the most serious factors that can lead to premature death.
The goal of the Tobacco Control component of the program is to reduce the number of people who die due to non-communicable diseases such as cancer. It involves implementing various measures such as the MPOWER program, which monitors the use of tobacco and policies, offers help to quit, and bans the advertising of tobacco products.
The goal of the program is to create an environment that will help people stop using tobacco products. It also aims to protect young people from exposure to second-hand smoke.
TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL PROGRAM
The goal of the National TB Control Program is to reduce the incidence and mortality rate from tuberculosis in the country. It also aims to provide effective and efficient treatment and support services. Through its various activities, such as the distribution of drugs and laboratory supplies, the program can help improve the quality of life for people with tuberculosis.
VIOLENCE AND INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM
The goal of the VIPP is to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by violence. It has five main areas of concern: Road Traffic Injuries, Falls, Burns, Drowning, and Poisoning. This program is a multidisciplinary effort that aims to implement effective interventions to address these types of injuries and illnesses.
WATER SAFETY PROGRAM
Drinking water is the main cause of waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. Contaminated water can also lead to other health conditions.
The objective of the Water Safety Program is to ensure that drinking water is safe to drink. It involves ensuring that the water supply is always within the standards set by the country’s drinking water regulator. In addition, the program also involves conducting water quality surveillance programs to ensure that the providers are following proper procedures and regulations.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN PROTECTION PROGRAM
The WCPP is a government program that aims to establish and operate effective women and children protection units. It supports the establishment and management of these units, which are required by Section 40 of the Act. The program also aims to provide medical assistance and improve the quality of life for these individuals.
The goal of the WCPP is to provide effective and efficient response to the various health threats that affect the public. This includes establishing and maintaining effective management structures, improving the quality of public health services, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Department of Health?
The Department of Health (DOH) is an agency of the Philippine government responsible for protecting and promoting public health. The DOH provides medical services to all Filipinos, regardless of social status or ability to pay.
The DOH also implements health policies and regulations, monitors the quality of healthcare services, and protects consumers from false advertising claims by clinics and hospitals.
2. What is the DOH’s vision, mission, and goal?
The DOH’s vision is to develop a healthy nation. It aims to achieve this by providing quality healthcare services, promoting good nutrition and sanitation, and preventing diseases and injuries through immunization programs and campaigns for safe food handling practices.
3. What does the DOH do?
The DOH implements health policies and regulations, monitors the quality of healthcare services, and protects consumers from false advertising claims by clinics and hospitals. It also provides free medical care to indigent Filipinos who cannot afford their medical expenses. The DOH also supports private organizations that provide health services such as family planning centers, daycare centers for children with special needs, blood banks, mobile x-ray vans, ambulances, and other emergency response operations.
4. How does DOH fight diseases?
The DOH is responsible for the prevention, control and elimination of communicable diseases such as dengue, rabies, leptospirosis and Japanese encephalitis. It also ensures that food handlers are trained and certified in safe food handling practices to prevent food poisoning cases. The DOH is also tasked with preventing non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes by promoting healthy lifestyles among Filipinos through its health education programs.
5. Where can I find the nearest health center or hospital?
You can check the DOH website for a list of health centers or hospitals near your area.
6. How is DOH funded?
The Philippine government primarily funds the DOH. It receives a budget from the national budget, which is allocated to its different programs and projects. The DOH also receives funds from foreign donors such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations such as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
7. What certifications does DOH provide?
DOH offers different certifications and licenses to health professionals, such as the License to Practice (LTP), Certificate of Registration (COR), and Certificate of Attendance (CA). The LTP is a license that permits doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, and other medical practitioners to practice in any part of the country.
The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines is responsible for ensuring the health and wellbeing of the population. The department provides health services, promotes health education, and regulates food and drugs. The department also plays an important role in research and development.
The Department of Health is important to Filipinos and their families because it provides access to healthcare and promotes health and wellness. The department also provides information on how to prevent and manage health conditions. It also conducts research on health and provides guidelines on health care.
Address: San Lazaro Compound, Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila Philippines 1003
Telephone Number: (632) 8651-7800
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDOHgov
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