DOH notes alarming rise in noncommunicable diseases in Davao

Feb. 08, 2008

The increase in the number of people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is alarming.

The Department of Health (DOH) reports that cardio-vascular diseases, an NCD, were Davao City’s number one killer last year. Three other NCDs were also among the top ten killers in the city.

Dr. Anabelle Yumang, the DOH coordinator for non-communicable disease prevention and control program, attributes this rise to the intake of wrong medication.

She said she was dismayed by the rise in NCD figures as she explains that once a person has contracted a non-communicable disease, the medication will be for a lifetime.

Unlike having a communicable disease that can be cured with antibiotic or other forms of medication, treating NCDs is more expensive as medications will be forever, Yumang said.

She also expressed alarm in the rise of the number of diabetes cases in the city. Though this particular NCD did not fall within last year’s top ten killers, the number of cases is increasing.

Yumang also said the intake of salt needs to be monitored; because each person only needs 2.5 kilos a year of salt, or about 5 grams a day.

Yumang said that the DOH is promoting the healthy lifestyle program, enjoining Filipinos to follow the prescribed food pyramid and to exercise. A study in 2003 indicated only 60 percent of Filipinos exercise.

One must also avoid smoking and drinking. Diet must also be heavy on fruits and vegetables, she said. (PIA/prixdbanzon)

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