Friday, April 3, 2009

News Release


SORSOGON PROVINCE (April 3) – Renal or kidney diseases rank as the number 10 killer in the Philippines, causing death to about 7,000 Filipinos every year.

By this alarming number, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) and the Department of Health (DOH) along with the Philippine Society of Nephrology (PSN) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) has intensified the campaign on the prevention and control of kidney diseases by developing core group of trainers and advocates from Luzon to Mindanao that would serve as information multipliers in disseminating knowledge on the prevention, control and treatment of kidney diseases to the community particularly the grassroots.

Resource persons headed by Dr. Remedios de Belen-Uriarte, who were, at the same time, the key implementers of the project and top brass from the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) converged to batches of trainings to train Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP) coordinators and advocates from the Center for Health and Development, Department of Education, PIA and other stakeholders from the different regions and provinces of the country.

The series of trainers’ training which were conducted last March, provided the participants of the anatomy and physiology of human kidneys and their functions and has presented, as well, the possible diseases that may eventually lead to kidneys disorders.

Among these diseases are diabetes, chronic glumerulonephritis (CGN), hypertension, kidney stones and Urinary Track Infection (UTI) which, if not detected earlier would lead to End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Philippine Renal Disease Registry of DOH-NKTI-REDCOP statistics reveal that, at present, complications in the kidney from diabetes mellitus, CGN and hypertension are among the leading cause of ESRD.

CGN or swelling of small veins in the nephrons or “blood filters” used to be the most common cause of ESRD in the third world countries including the Philippines. It usually afflicts children, adolescents and young adults in their productive years. Children and young adults can escape detection for months or years, causing the condition to progress to a chronic stage.

According to Dr. Antonio Paraiso, NKTI nephrology consultant, these diseases are potentially preventable if diagnosed early in the course of illness.

“I also recommend a regular once a year urinalysis to detect the presence of such diseases, and development of healthy habits and practices in order to prevent having diseases in our kidneys,” he further stressed out.

Meanwhile, new REDCOP advocates and trainers are now deployed in their respective communities and areas of concern to implement their action plans which focus on empowering people so as to reduce the number of kidney disease patients and avoid the need for expensive ESRD treatments such as dialysis or kidney transplantation. (Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon)
News Release


SORSOGON PROVINCE (April 3) – A simple ceremony yesterday, April 2, commenced the official and formal opening of the RP-US Balikatan Exercises’ humanitarian missions to be conducted this April in two priority towns here.

The simple program was held in Brgy. Guruyan, Juban, one of the identified recipient barangays of the joint military forces’ engineering and medical missions.

In Sorsogon, Brgy. Guruyan in Juban and Brgy. Patag in Irosin were among the identified priority areas to receive health assistance, school buildings and road component projects.

Aside from Sorsogon, the provinces of Albay and Masbate were also identified as concerned areas in the Bicol region and are also beneficiaries of said infrastructure and medical projects.

Juban Mayor Ma. Teresa Fragata said that officials of the recipient barangays were glad and thankful having in mind the benefits that the mission would provide for them. However, they are apprehensive of possible armed confrontations between military and communist terrorists in the midst of project implementation that may harmly affect or hurt civilians.

With this apprehension, she assured the local residents that the US-RP military groups who will be here are purely on a humanitarian mission and is non-combatant. “They will only stay here for a short period of time, and just like visitors, let us warmly welcome them,” she said.

Asked about her position toward protesters, Fragata said that she would not bar any groups or organizations from holding protests against the conduct of Balikatan Exercises. “I believe rights and beliefs of every individual or groups must be respected,” she added.

“In fact, I have issued permits to hold protests to some militant groups here, and my office remains open to issuing permits to anyone who desires to hold the same,” Fragata said.

However, she made an appeal to protesters to maintain sobriety and peace, and to New People’s Army (NPA) to ward off armed confrontations particular in areas where there are civilians.

She also calls for the public to be more candid, supportive but vigilant while the assistance projects are going on.

Meanwhile, the 901st Infantry Brigade of Philippine Army, is confident that following the massive information drive they conducted to the public, including as well to the Provincial Peace and Order Councils of Albay , Masbate and Sorsogon, and even during the recently concluded Youth Day Camp in Albay, more Bicolanos have understood and will become more generous to give their share in the conduct of RP-US humanitarian missions in the region.

The 2009 RP-US mutual defense treaty or Balikatan Exercises are inclusions under the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, which will cover both humanitarian and civic assistance projects for one-month period to be conducted by both Philippine and American military forces. (Bennie A. Recebido, PIA Sorsogon)