Things to Know When Donating Blood
Not all blood types can be transferred to one person. It is important to know what your blood type is and what you can do if you need a transfusion.
Blood Type Donation 101:
There are four blood types according to the ABO blood group system. These are Type A, B, AB and O. The difference in blood type is due to the combination of antigens and antibodies present in the blood. This is also the reason why blood compatibility is considered.
People with blood type A have antigens A and B antibodies. If blood type B is given to this individual, the immune system gets fired up against the B antigen from the transfused blood. This means that those with blood type A can only receive blood types A & O, and not B & AB.
For people with blood type B, they can be transfused with blood type O and B, but not A and AB. This is because this blood type has a B antigen and antibodies for blood type A.
Blood type AB has A and B antigens and no antibodies. People with this blood type can be transfused with blood types A, B, AB, and O so they are the universal recipient.
People with blood type O do not have antigens and have antibodies for blood types A and B. As a result, they cannot receive blood types A, B and AB. They can only receive blood type O, but they can donate all blood types. They are the so-called universal donor. It is estimated that 44-46% of Filipinos are type O.
Things to Know Before Donating Blood
• About 350 to 500 ml of blood is drawn in one blood donation session.
• Lost blood can be replaced in three to four weeks.
• Blood donation is conducted within 25 minutes.
• A healthy person can donate blood every three months.
• Each unit of blood collected is examined before being transferred to the patient to determine if it is positive for HIV, Malaria, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C.
You can be a blood donor if:
• In good health
• aged 16 to 65 years old.
• Weighs at least 110 pounds (50 kg).
• Blood pressure is between Systolic: 90-160 mmHg, Diastolic: 60-100 mmHg.
• Pulse rate is between 60-100 beats/minute with regular rhythm
• Passed physical and health history assessments.
• Hemoglobin on screening should at least be 125 g/L
Things to Do Before and After Donating Blood
Before donating blood, keep the following in mind:
• Sleep and rest well.
• Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before blood donation.
• Prior to donating, it is best to check if any of your medications or recently taken medications would prevent you from donating. Although most medications do not affect your eligibility to donate blood.
• Eat well before donating. Avoid fatty and greasy foods.
• Drink plenty of water before and after the donation.
After donating blood, it is important to do the following:
• Rest for 15 minutes.
• Hydrate
• Put pressure on the area where the injection was given to prevent bleeding. Avoid lifting heavy objects first. If there is a bruise, apply a cold compress to the affected area during the first 24 hours.
• Avoid strenuous physical activities and lifting heavy objects.
• If you are feeling lightheaded or dizzy, lie down and put your feet up until the feeling passes.
Benefits of Blood Donation
• Reduce harmful iron stores.
• Preserve cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that those who donated blood every 6 months to 1 year have a lower risk of heart attacks.
• Donating blood according to a study, can help burn approximately 650 calories.
Anyone interested in donating blood may contact the Philippine Red Cross or inquire in the Blood Bank of hospitals near you.
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What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature in the spine. It is often diagnosed in adolescents since it’s the time when the growth spurt happens. Most of the cases are mild, but some curves may worsen as children grow. While scoliosis can occur in people with certain conditions, the cause of most childhood cases is unknown.
Causes of Scoliosis
Hereditary. There are genes that can cause scoliosis, so it can be inherited. When a person has a relative who has scoliosis, he or she may also have it.
Infections or injuries to the spine. The most common cause of adult scoliosis is degenerative (spine curves as one ages). Osteoporosis causes the condition due to the breaking and weakening of bones, including the spine.
Neuromuscular causes. This type of scoliosis can be caused by a condition in the nerves and muscles. It is more common in people with poliomyelitis, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy.
Osteoporosis. The most common cause of adult scoliosis is degenerative (spine curves as one ages). Osteoporosis causes the condition due to the breaking and weakening of bones, including the spine.
Birth Defects. Defects affecting the development of the bones of the spine.
Syndromic scoliosis. Having Neurofibromatosis and Marfan’s syndrome can also be the cause of this condition.
How is Scoliosis Diagnosed?
Scoliosis is diagnosed in several ways. Your doctor will perform a physical examination of your spine to determine if you have scoliosis. Your doctor may also request imaging tests to examine your spine more closely.
Physical examination. While standing with your arms at your sides, your doctor will examine your back. They will look for spine curvature as well as symmetry in your shoulders and waist. Your doctor will then ask you to lean forward and examine your upper and lower back for any curvature.
Imaging. Scoliosis imaging tests that your doctor may request include:
• Bone scan
• CT Scan
• MRI scan
• X-ray
Upon confirmation of the diagnosis, there are several factors considered before determining the treatment modality:
• Spinal maturity – if it is still growing/changing as it will determine the risk of curve progression.
• Degree and extent of curvature
• Location of the curve
• Gender – Females have a greater risk of progression than males.
Treatment options recommended to patients are:
• Observation – if the curvature is mild. Regular visits with the Orthopedic surgeon are recommended.
• Bracing – This is only effective in patients who have not reached skeletal maturity.
• Surgery – In children, it is recommended to stop the curve from progressing during adulthood and to diminish spinal deformity. While in adults, this is advised when the curve is more than 50 degrees, and the patient has nerve damage to their legs and/or experiencing bowel or bladder symptoms.
There are no specific activities that cause or are known to correct scoliosis. Despite this, it is still recommended to keep oneself fit and healthy.
• Maintain proper standing and sitting posture
• Get in the habit of stretching
• Avoid constant lifting, even carrying heavy objects
Talk to a specialist doctor from Medgate to be guided on how to take care of your spine or if you are experiencing any back pain. With Medgate, you can call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, No Line.
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Dengue: What to do once you have it
Many areas in the Philippines are targeted by mosquitoes, especially those surrounded by still water or stagnant water. Coincidentally, some of the mosquitoes in our country carry dangerous diseases. Dengue is one of the main diseases they cause.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is endemic in 100 countries, commonly in Tropical and Sub-tropical places such as the Philippines. The disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue symptoms can be mild to severe. The disease has no treatment but can be managed early with supportive therapy.
Here are some tips that one can do:
Give the patient Paracetamol
Dengue fever is characterized by a high fever and a headache.
The medication can be given to control the fever and relieve the headache and muscle aches/pain.
Due to the increased risk of bleeding in dengue patients, drugs including aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments should be avoided. Instead of helping the patient, they may induce difficulties.
Give the patient plenty of fluids
Water, juice, and rehydration fluids help prevent dehydration brought on by fever or vomiting. Men and women aged 18-30 should drink at least 2.7 liters of fluids per day. The dose is the same for younger men, while 2.2 liters for younger women.
Give the patient sufficient rest and sleep
The main defense against dengue fever, aside from drinking enough fluids, is getting adequate sleep and rest. Every day, give the patient plenty of time to rest since he might struggle to conduct basic tasks like eating and walking around the house because of her weakness. Bring goods that the patient will require to the bedside, such as water, cold wipes, medicine, clothing, and simple recreational items.
Prepare soup and nutritious food
To replace the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and lipids lost to the body owing to dengue fever, feed the patient protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and other dairy products. Leafy vegetables can be added to the meal for added nourishment.
Another option is to prepare soup for the patient. Its warmth comforts the eater and provides short-term strength. The soup and broth also aid in the elimination of pollutants.
Take the patient to the hospital
Through the course of the disease, it is important to be in constant communication with your doctor for proper guidance and monitoring.
The patient can be sent to the hospital right away if his condition does not improve. In fact, taking him to the hospital before the dengue becomes worse is a smart idea so that he can receive the medicine that is suited for his condition.
To avoid complications, run the patient to the hospital immediately if he experiences nosebleeds, increased fever, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, cold hands and feet, irregular urination, and hives. If you want to learn more about the symptoms of Dengue Fever and how to detect it early, contact Medgate's specialist doctors.
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Prostate 101: When should I see a doctor?
Many people are not sure what the prostate is, what it does, or when to consult a doctor if they think they have a problem. Information is the best tool you have in dealing with this aspect of men’s health.
What is Prostate?
The Prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that lies at the bottom of the bladder and covers the urethra (urinary tract). The prostate grows as a man gets older and produces the fluid that makes up approximately 30 percent of the semen. The fluid contains citric acid, calcium, zinc and enzymes that nourish and enhance the motility of the sperm. As a man ages, it may increase in size.
Diseases that can be contracted by the Prostate Gland
1. Prostatitis
Prostatitis is a disorder where the prostate gland is inflamed. It is the most common urinary tract issue in men younger than 50 years old. It often causes painful or difficult urination and pain in the pelvic, groin and genitals. Other signs and symptoms experienced by patients are fever, frequent urination particularly at night, feeling of urgency to urinate and bloody or cloudy urine. In severe conditions, men may experience inability to urinate.
2. Prostate Enlargement or BPH
The condition also called Prostate gland enlargement is a common condition in older men. It is observed in 50% of men above 50 years old and approximately 90% of men above 80 years old. This is a benign condition and does not lead to cancer. A common symptom seen is needing to pass urine often that may cause nighttime awakening to urinate. Other symptoms include incomplete emptying of the bladder, feeling the urgent need to urinate, weak urine flow, dribbling of urine and trouble starting to pass urine.
3. Prostate Cancer
Growths seen in the prostate can be benign or malignant. Prostate cancer may grow slowly and remain confined in the prostate gland, or it can aggressively grow and spread quickly. At the initial stages, it often has no symptoms. When they do manifest, symptoms can be like those of an enlarged prostate. Prostate cancer may also cause symptoms unrelated to BPH. In the advanced stages, bone pain and weight loss may be noted.
Screening for Prostate Cancer
Screening for any condition means testing for a disease even if one has no symptoms. There are 2 tests that can be done to screen for Prostate cancer namely Prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) and undergoing a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) by a physician.
Recommended screening by the American Cancer Society
• Age 50 for men who are at average risk
• Age 45 for men at high risk. This includes African-Americans and men who have first-degree relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (< 65 years old).
• Age 40 for men at even higher risk. This is for patients with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age.
Reduce the Risk of Prostate Disease
• Eat fruit and vegetables
• Eat starchy foods such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
• Lycopene-rich foods include tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables
• Do not wait until your bladder is completely full before passing urine
• Exercise regularly
• Maintain a healthy diet because obesity contributes to prostate growth
When to consult with a doctor?
If you have signs of prostate disease, see your doctor to get the care you need. Consult your doctor to learn how you might reduce your risk of having prostate disease. Furthermore, as you become older, it is critical to have a prostate checkup yearly. Your prostate needs to be looked after and cared for. Always remember that prevention is always better to cure.
Consult a specialized doctor from Medgate for additional information on the disorders that might affect the prostate.
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Healthy tips for Thyroid health
When the thyroid gland is not healthy, it can lead to various complications such as weight gain, depression, and even miscarriage in pregnant women. Thyroid symptoms are usually mild and might go unnoticed, but a simple blood test can help to determine the general condition of the thyroid.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found in your neck. It is responsible for producing hormones needed for various brain activities and the body’s metabolism. The thyroid also regulates heart rate and body temperature. When the thyroid is not healthy, it can affect other body functions especially if it is not treated.
Thyroid Disease
It is a general term for a medical condition that keeps your thyroid from making the right amount of hormones.
Thyroid disease can affect anyone. The following factors may predispose an individual into developing the disease:
• Age above 60 years
• Female gender
• Family history of thyroid disease
• Family history of autoimmune disease
• High intake of Iodine through food or medication
• Past treatment for thyroid condition or cancer
Thyroid disease can be divided into two groups: Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland makes too many thyroid hormones. While Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid can make insufficient amount of thyroid hormones.
It can be diagnosed through blood tests (ex: TSH, FT3, FT4), imaging test (Thyroid ultrasound) and physical examination.
Listed below are the signs and symptoms observed in Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism:
Hypothyroidism Hyperthyroidism
Constipation Anxiety
Depression Enlargement of the thyroid glands
Difficulty concentrating Excessive sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
Dry skin and hair Hair loss
Frequent, heavy menstrual period Missed or light menstruation periods
Muscle weakness Moodiness or irritability
Often feels tired and fatigued Nervousness/hyperactivity
Sensitivity to cold temperature Sudden weight loss
Slow heart rate Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Trouble sleeping Tremors of the hand
Weight gain
Health tips for better Thyroid health
Our diet has a profound impact on the thyroid gland. Here are some food and nutrients that one can incorporate in the diet to help maintain good thyroid health:
• Iodine-rich foods – lack of this may cause Hypothyroidism. The recommendation is 150 micrograms of iodine daily for anyone above 14 years old. Iodine is naturally found in seaweed, salt-water fish and seafoods. Dairy products also contain some iodine.
• Vitamin D – low levels of the vitamin have been linked to Hashimoto’s disease, an auto-immune disorder, that leads to Hypothyroidism. It is found in fatty fish, milk, dairy products, eggs, and mushrooms. Sunlight exposure also contributes to the production of Vitamin D.
• Selenium – a mineral that boosts the immune system, cognitive function, and fertility. It can be found in sunflower seeds, tuna, crab and lobster.
• Vitamin B12 – this is found in sardines, salmon, organ meats like liver, muscle meat, dairy products, and fortified cereals. The vitamin protects the thyroid gland from oxidative stress.
• Antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables like bell peppers and tomatoes. These helps protect the thyroid from oxidative stress.
• Moderate amount of high-fiber foods
• Omega-3 rich foods – it helps to decrease inflammation. It can be found in baked salmon, sea bass, and cod.
When it comes to your diet, it's usually a good idea to keep things in moderation. While there are some foods, drinks, and supplements that should be avoided when taking thyroid medication, there is usually no need to fully exclude any food. Here are some food, habit and drinks to limit or avoid:
• Alcohol
• Caffeine
• Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower. Unless they are cooked, they have a negative effect on the thyroid gland. They are known to be “Goitrogens” which means they can suppress the function of the thyroid gland by blocking the uptake of Iodine.
• Gluten – evidence shows that autoimmune thyroid disorders are linked with gluten intolerance.
• High-fiber foods – too much fiber can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medicines
• Iodine – eating too much can suppress the thyroid gland activity
• Soy - it acts as a “goitrogen” also that blocks the absorption of iodine.
• Tobacco
Doctors may prescribe anti-thyroid medicine for patients with an overactive thyroid to reduce hormone production. The most common remedy in those with hyperthyroidism is radioactive iodine ablation. Meanwhile, there are thyroid hormone pills for patients with underactive thyroid to reach normal hormone levels.
Do not second guess and rely on what you search on the internet. Consult our specialist doctors to give you peace of mind and provide you with the care you deserve. Medgate is open 24/7, even on holidays.
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Identify Cervical Cancer
May is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. According to the United Nations, more than 250,000 women die each year from cervical cancer worldwide, with 85 percent of these coming from low- and middle-income nations. In the Philippines, 6,000 women are diagnosed yearly.
The cervix is a part of a woman's reproductive system. It is the lower end of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is a viral infection that causes skin or mucous membrane growth (warts). It may be transmitted sexually or through skin-to-skin contact. Most strains do not lead to cancer. However, several strains of HPV play a role in causing cervical cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer
Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms. Presentation of more-advanced cervical cancer include:
1. Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Most women with cervical cancer experience vaginal bleeding after or during sexual intercourse, after menopause and between periods. As the cancer spreads to nearby tissues in the cervix, abnormal capillaries develop that break easily and cause bleeding.
2. Pain during intercourse
This symptom may indicate that cervical cancer has progressed to the tissues and reproductive organs.
3. Hip pain
Hip pain is common in women, particularly if they have dysmenorrhea. However, if the pain lasts longer than usual, it may possibly be a sign of cervical cancer. A woman suffering from cervical cancer may experience hip pain at an unexpected time. This symptom does not appear until the cancer is severe.
4. Abnormal vaginal discharge
It is normal for women to produce fluid that is clear and odorless. However, if the discharge is excessive, smelly, or unusual in appearance, it could be a sign of cervical cancer. When there is cervical cancer, the discharge may be brown, watery, and mixed with blood.
5. Pain in the genitals while urinating
This symptom along with frequent urination and changes in the appearance of urine occurs when the cancer reaches nearby tissue.
Cervical Cancer Screening Tests
Most cases of cervical cancer can be prevented if abnormal cells in the cervix are detected and treated early. To reduce the risk of having cervical cancer, the following may be done:
HPV vaccination
• Widespread immunization with the HPV vaccine could reduce the impact of cervical cancer and other cancers caused by HPV worldwide. HPV vaccines can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if the vaccine is given before girls or women are exposed to the virus. This vaccine can also prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer. In addition, the vaccine can prevent genital warts, anal cancers, and mouth, throat, head and neck cancers in women and men.
Routine Pap smear
• The most basic screening test for cervical cancer is a Pap Test or better known as a Pap Smear. In the Pap Test, the doctor uses a speculum to examine the vagina and cervix and to take cells and mucus from the cervix. These cells will be examined to detect precancerous conditions of the cervix. , so they can be monitored or treated to prevent cervical cancer.
Practice of safe sex
• Reducing the risk of cervical cancer by taking measures to prevent sexually transmitted infections, like using a condom and limiting the number of sexual partners.
If you have at least one of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away because early detection is the most effective way to beat cancer or any infection that you may have. Call Medgate today to find out more about Cervical Cancer!
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Keeping your skin healthy during this summer season
Having a family is one of the most important decisions you can make. It's a bold but thrilling step forward in family life.
Pregnancy is difficult for a woman. She will experience many changes in her physical and emotional characteristics during pregnancy.
Here are the things how you can support a pregnant woman:
Educate yourself
One thing you can do to assist your partner with her pregnancy is to educate yourself about the journey that she will be experiencing with you. This will allow you to anticipate what might occur during each trimester of her pregnancy.
Be present
Support her by getting involved. Be with her in medical check-ups and help her decide on the prenatal tests to be performed. You may also go with her to any birthing or baby classes.
Provide Physical Support
The body of a woman is complicated during pregnancy. Significant hormonal and physical changes are happening in their body. As a result, your partner may require physical support such as:
• Sharing housework so your pregnant partner can relax.
• If you smoke, avoid smoking near your pregnant partner. This will also help maintain the health of your baby. But ultimately, it is better if you stop smoking permanently.
• Relieve your partner's body pain by massaging her legs and back.
• Give her folic acid vitamins to help your baby develop properly.
Show Emotional Support
In relation to the significant hormonal and physical changes that are happening in their body, this will also affect her emotions. You will notice that your partner will be sensitive and may be upset over small things.
As her stomach gets longer and bigger, your partner will have a tough time sleeping as well. Lack of sleep can cause irritability.
Here are some things you can do to give your partner emotional support during pregnancy:
• Reassure her on things that she needs support.
• Be proactive and ask what she needs.
• Encourage her to rest and take a nap to recharge.
• Give her enough time to talk when she wants to share something.
• Practice and show empathy to her.
Extend Medical Support
Moms may have different medical needs during their pregnancy. The most common for them is morning sickness or nausea when pregnant. It can occur anywhere from the fourth through the thirteenth week of pregnancy.
Nausea can strike a pregnant woman at any time of the day or night. Your partner will find it difficult to eat and rest due to the frequent sickness. Here are some suggestions to help your partner:
• Because a pregnant woman's nausea can be heightened by the smell of prepared food, it is best if you prepare food yourself.
• Always remind your partner to consume water, fruit juice that has been diluted, sweet tea, syrup, or broth.
Pregnancy is no laughing matter; therefore, a woman will need all the help she can get from her friends and family. It is preferable if you do everything possible to assist your partner with her pregnancy.
If you have any concerns about your partner’s pregnancy, a Medgate doctor is just a call away to give you the care that comforts.
Stay healthy and happy!
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Foods That Can Cause Hypertension
Heart disease and hypertension are major public health concerns around the world. According to the World Health Organization, the processed food sector is playing a significant role in increasing the number of hypertension patients as it increases, altering the salt content of foods all over the world.
High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. This frequently results in problems that can result in heart disease, stroke, or death.
It is not easy to determine the cause of every attack of hypertension. Here are some of the risk factors that may predispose an individual to develop hypertension:
1. Family history of high blood pressure.
2. Age - The risk of developing hypertension increases on men at age 35 and age 45 on women.
3. Gender – According to research and studies, men are more often affected by hypertension
4. Bad habits - Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and drug use can raise blood pressure.
5. Size and weight - Being overweight or obese is a big factor for developing hypertension due to the excessive amount of unhealthy fats in the body.
On the other hand, people diagnosed with hypertensive often experience headaches, difficulty of breathing, and nosebleeds every time it attacks. The person may also experience intense sweating, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and redness of the cheeks.
For people who experience hypertension, it's critical to include a good amount of potassium in their diet. Bananas, melons, oranges, and spinach are potassium-rich foods that may help reduce the effects of hypertension.
List of foods to limit:
1. Salty foods — Salt and sodium are the culprits of people with hypertension. Canned goods, instant food, fast food, and junk foods are some of the items high in salt.
2. Oily dishes — Foods heavy in saturated fats, such as chicken skin, full-fat dairy, red meat, and butter, can cause hypertension. As much as possible, stay away from fried food, especially the fatty and oily parts of the dish.
3. Foods high in sugar — An excessive use of sugar in cooking and in the food consumed is linked to being overweight or obese. Examples of these are artificial fruit juices, candies, and other products that turn into starch in the blood after being processed by the body. Candy and other artificial sweets include a lot of calories and sugar, which can cause blood pressure to increase. Just like candies, soft drinks are high in calories and sugar. One can of soft drinks contains about nine teaspoons of sugar or 39 grams. Instead of sodas, quench your thirst with water or natural fruit juices and shakes without added sugar.
4. Alcohol - Abusive consumption of alcohol raises blood pressure. It can also cause cancer and other complications in the organs of the body. Such drinks also counteract the effect of maintenance medications for hypertension.
5. Candy - Candy and other artificial sweets include a lot of calories and sugar, which can cause blood pressure to increase.
A proper diet is essential for maintaining good blood pressure, especially in patients who are still in the pre-hypertension stage. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help enhance blood flow.
Consult a specialist doctor from Medgate for prevention or if you’re experiencing symptoms from hypertension for early intervention.
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Heads up!
The Department of Health (DOH), in collaboration with the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, observes Head and Neck Consciousness Week! Based on Presidential Proclamation 1676, it aims to raise public awareness about head and neck cancers (which includes the oral cavity, nasopharynx, larynx, and thyroid), as well as to promote prevention, screening, and optimal treatment.
Risk Factors for Head and Neck Cancer
Smoking and alcohol consumption are major risk factors for head and neck cancer. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, snuff, or betel quid) have been linked to the majority of head and neck cancers. Drinking any type of alcohol, such as beer, wine, or liquor, increases the risk of developing mouth, throat, and voice box cancers.
Screening for Head and Neck Cancers
Currently, there is no evidence that routine screening for head and neck cancer proves beneficial for the general population. However, it is important to identify and manage risk factors as early as possible with the help of your doctor. A detailed medical history, physical examination of the head and neck area, family history and exposure to certain viruses are essential to dictate whether imaging modalities are warranted. The most common imaging procedures requested are Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and endoscopy. It is also important to do self-monitoring and schedule an appointment with your doctor if you present with any of these most common symptoms:
• Lump in the nose, neck, or throat
• Persistent sore throat
• Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
• Unexplained weight loss
• Frequent coughing
• Change in voice or hoarseness
• Ear pain or trouble hearing
• Recurrent headaches
• Nasal obstruction or chronic congestion
• Nasal bleeds on a regular basis or unusual discharge
• Breathing difficulties
Treatment for head and neck cancer depends on the location, stage and the general health status of the patient. Most common treatment modalities include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Furthermore, treatment requires a holistic, personalized approach to help patients stay strong and maintain their quality of life. Examples of supportive care include nutritional support, pain management, and oncologic rehabilitation.
Consult with a specialist doctor from Medgate when you experience headaches that are hard to tolerate, speech problems, and weakness or numbness in the body. We are here to help you manage these risk factors to make your health head over heels.
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Eliminate Malaria! World Malaria Day
Every April 25, World Malaria Day is commemorated. This annual event is part of a global effort to promote malaria awareness and funding for treatment and its prevention.
Malaria is a disease that is spread in tropical Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines. The Plasmodium protozoa parasite is transmitted to humans by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
The transmission cycle begins when an uninfected mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person with malaria. Later on, the infected mosquito can then transmit malaria through their bite. Once the Plasmodium protozoa parasite enters the blood, they travel towards the liver to develop. They may remain dormant in the liver for as long as a year. When the parasite matures, they now invade the red blood cells. This is when the infected person develops symptoms of Malaria.
Malaria Signs and Symptoms
The following symptoms should be monitored to determine if there is malaria. Because these are common symptoms, it's a good idea to consult a doctor to make sure:
• High fever;
• Fatigue;
• Chills;
• Headache
• Abdominal pain that may be accompanied by diarrhea;
• Pain in muscles or joints;
• Cough;
• Fast heart rate and respiration
If you or someone you know has been affected by Malaria, here are things you should do:
• Use cool compress and apply on the patient's forehead.
• Fever can cause insensible water loss in the body. To prevent dehydration from setting in, it is important to offer the patient a small and frequent intake of fluids (water, natural fruit juices, oral rehydrating salt solutions).
• Follow your doctor's advice on the corresponding treatments and medication to ensure complete recovery.
If malaria symptoms do not go away with medication and rest, do not hesitate to take the patient to the nearest doctor or hospital to avoid complications.
Malaria Prevention
To prevent malaria disease, practice the following:
• Sleep under a mosquito net if at all possible. Protect your family from mosquito bites, especially if you have pets, to avoid other mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue.
• Use insect repellent. There are many insect repellents available to protect the skin from mosquito bites. It can be lotions, sprays, and stickers on children.
• Put on clothing that covers your skin. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when going to dark areas such as garages and playgrounds.
• Keep your surroundings clean. Also clean gutters and containers with stagnant water to keep mosquitoes out of bed.
• Avoid using scented soaps to keep from attracting mosquitoes.
• Use insecticide in and around the house, especially during summer, when mosquitoes are more numerous.
• Boost the immune system. As with any disease, strengthen the body's defenses against various diseases by eating well, getting enough rest, and leading an active lifestyle.
Let us do our part in creating awareness about malaria and sharing our knowledge on how to prevent it. In our own way, we might be saving a life. For any other questions about Malaria, our doctors are a call away to give you the care that comforts.
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Boost your body's immunity this summer!
Summer is a great time for families and friends to get together. For some, travelling to the beach and exploring outdoors has become the top choice since the quarantine restrictions have been lifted. Being able to go out of the house is good for one's emotional, physical, and mental health, as well as the environment. This activity, however, is linked to bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses that we can pick up and get this summer.
Organisms in our bodies are resistant to our immune system. We are resistant to sickness because of our strong resistance and immune system. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to infections like fever, flu, and other more serious ailments.
Method for Stronger Immune System
Your immune system defends you from disease-causing pathogens. Experts strongly advise eating a well-balanced diet to achieve a healthy and powerful immune system. Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Fatty Acids, are necessary minerals that support a healthy immune system. Fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and grains are all good sources.
Here are a few simple strategies to help improve your immune system and keep your body healthy this summer.
• Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
o Eating vegetables and fruits regularly will strengthen your defenses. The vitamins and minerals found in these foods serve as fuel to the cells that will protect the body against infection.
• Get enough sleep
o Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of the protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies, making an individual more prone to easily acquiring infections.
• Exercise with the whole family
o According to research, exercise causes a change in the antibodies and white blood cells (the body's immune system cells). They circulate more rapidly enabling the body to detect any infection early on.
• Soak for a few minutes for extra Vitamin D
o Our bodies produce vitamin D when we soak in the sun for 15 to 20 minutes. Vitamin D deficiency makes people more susceptible to sickness.
• Drink a lot of water
o Water intake does not boost our immune system, however, it plays an important role in supporting our existing immune system function.
• Wash fruits and vegetables
o Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them, and don't eat anything that is beyond its expiration date.
• Wash your hands
o Frequently wash your hands to keep your hands clean from viruses and to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
In addition to the strategies, we can do to boost our immune system, eating the right food helps promote healthy immune function and reduce the disease risk. Here are some suggested food options:
• Yogurt
o Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, which are great resistance builders. Check to see if the yogurt you're buying has live or active cultures (lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains).
• Walnuts
o Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for you. This aids in the prevention of disease.
• Fruits and Vegetables
o The vitamins and minerals in these foods provide energy to the cells that protect the body from infection.
• Watermelon
o When ripe, watermelon releases many antioxidants. It boosts the immune system's ability to combat infections in the body.
• Mushrooms
o They contain the mineral “selenium” as well as B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, which are beneficial in a variety of ways. The vitamins riboflavin and niacin are important for a healthy immune system.
Always remember the importance of adequate rest because it aids our body's healing and repairing abilities. So, enjoy your summer, travel safely, and always remember to support your immune system. If you experience any sickness along the way, remember that Medgate is always here to give you the care you deserve!
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Sharing the care to our healthcare workers!
Health professionals play a crucial role in enhancing the population's access to quality health care. They administer primary health care to people, families, and communities, promoting health, preventing diseases, and providing health care services.
Our medical personnel are heroes. We should have known - and recognized this - all along, but the COVID-19 outbreak has really highlighted the value of our healthcare workers. They work long hours, put their health at risk, lose sleep, cry, skip meals, worry about their families, and hold our country together.
We've all seen the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on everyone, but healthcare workers have been particularly hard hit. Now is the time for us to rally behind them may there be a pandemic or not.
Here are some ways to show your support for a healthcare professional in your life:
1. Be a good listener. Your healthcare provider may have lost patients, faced staffing problems, or been concerned about infecting your home. If they want to speak with you, give them your undivided attention. Your loved one may simply need to express oneself after dealing with some challenging patients or family members at work.
2. Let them know how much you value them. Express your gratitude regularly by thanking the healthcare worker in your life and how important their sacrifices have been.
3. Donate food or other supplies. You may also extend and donate to your loved one’s organization. Make sure to ask as to what would be beneficial; many organizations/healthcare workers do not accept outside contributions of masks or equipment. Consider typical dietary requirements (vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose intolerance) while ordering meals. Cold food, such as sandwiches or salads, may last longer than hot meal deliveries. In this way, support is extended to his circle too.
4. Make a present for them. There are many different love languages, and some people respond to gifts with the most love. Consider what your healthcare worker enjoys—food, flowers, clothing, or something else—and surprise them with a present.
5. Make sure you look after yourself. If you want to help someone, you must first look after yourself. Take a mental health assessment to see how you're doing.
This week we are celebrating World Health Worker Week! This is a great opportunity to celebrate health workers and raise awareness about the importance of their work. We, at Medgate, are grateful for our own family and continuing to provide accessible healthcare to Filipinos.
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8 Essential Medical Tests for Women
Women in their 30s are in the most critical stage of their lives medically. According to the Philippine Medical Test System, at this age, you would have a slower metabolism, a higher chance of cancer, and other disorders related to general reproductive health. Women now have access to tests during various life phases thanks to medical advancements.
Here are eight types of medical exams that every woman should get.
1. Pelvic Exam
A pelvic exam is a visual and physical examination of a woman's reproductive organs performed by a physician. The doctor examines the vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, vulva, ovaries, and uterus during the exam. A sample of cells may be obtained as part of a routine examination known as a Pap smear, or Pap test, to check for cervical cancer or cells that appear to be cancerous. The sample is immersed in a solution and transported to a lab for analysis. Tests for sexually transmitted infections may also be performed.
2. Clinical Breast Exam
During a clinical breast exam, your healthcare provider examines the appearance of your breasts. Your arms may be instructed to be raised above your head, hung by your sides, or pressed against your hips. These positions allow your doctor to check for changes in the size or shape of your breasts. Any rash, blemish, or other odd indications are checked on the skin that covers your breasts. Your nipples may be checked to see if fluid is expressed when lightly squeezed. A self-breast exam is one of the best ways to find out if there is a lump in your breast, but at this age, a complete doctor’s examination is important. Estrogen levels are higher in women who have never given birth so they have a higher chance of developing breast cancer. Ask your doctor how often you should have a mammogram.
3. Skin Cancer Test
Aside from cervical and breast cancer, women are also prone to developing skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure on a daily basis are the main causes of melanoma. Common signs of melanoma are the change in a former mole or the strange color that appears on the skin. If you have symptoms of melanoma, your doctor will need to perform a biopsy test on your skin sample to give a correct diagnosis.
4. Thyroid Test
If you are experiencing a sudden change in mood, sleep, cholesterol level, or unexplained weight gain, there may be a problem with your thyroid. A simple blood test will help to find out if your thyroid is overactive or underactive.
5. Iron Level
Iron is a very important mineral that helps in the production of healthy red blood cells. Iron-deficiency anemia is more common in pregnant women and expectant mothers. Eating foods rich in iron such as red meat, seafood, and green leafy vegetables is recommended for people with iron deficiency anemia. If you are experiencing shortness of breath and unexplained fatigue, a blood test will help to determine your iron level. Consult a doctor before taking any dietary supplements.
6. Eye Exam
Using laptops and gadgets has a detrimental effect on your eyesight. It is important to have a definite diagnosis from an ophthalmologist to identify other matters that need to be addressed. Do not go to the doctor when your eyes are tired due to lack of sleep, tired at work, or if there is jetlag because it may affect the diagnosis.
7. Diabetes Screening
Make it a habit to undergo diabetes screening to monitor your cholesterol and blood sugar level. When your body is getting older, your metabolism may slow down as well. Exercise regularly and stop vices to maintain a healthier life.
8. STI/HIV Test
If you're sexually active, especially with several partners, it is recommended to use protection and get tested several times. This is significant because a person can be infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and be unaware of it. There aren't always any warning indications or symptoms. Many specialists use the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) because an infection can exist without causing disease signs. What kind of STI tests do you require, though? How frequently should you get screened? The answers depend on your age, your sexual behaviors and other risk factors. There's no shame in being positive for STI, so if you see anything weird in your genitals, seek care at the nearest clinic immediately.
Having these tests may be a long list but prevention is always better than cure. As a start, schedule a consultation with your physician to know when the necessary tests are needed for you and to secure the perfect time when to have it done. Medgate is here with you to give you the care that comforts.
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Women's health: Know the right care
It is important to know proper care for women’s health. A woman has many health needs and paying attention to them can help prevent serious diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and breast cancer.
Breast care
It is very important that we take good care of our breasts. Made of fat and specialized tissue, they are designed to produce milk for the baby and are considered sensitive parts of the body. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking to take care of them. Make it a practice to wear a bra that fits properly and avoid bumping your breasts hard.
At home, perform a breast self-examination once a month. Look closely at your breast to see if there are any unusual lumps that could be a symptom of breast cancer. Consult your doctor for proper guidance and assurance.
Vaginal Care
Do we really need to wash our genitals with feminine wash? This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, but it does aid in maintaining excellent hygiene. Our female reproductive system, on the other hand, has a built-in self-cleaning system.
It's important to remember that a mild odor and fluid in our vaginal area is typical. Water is usually all that is required to fully clean it. If the discharge is unusually colored, such as yellow, green, or red, and has a strong odor, you should see an Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-Gyn). Apart from that, if you have itching, soreness, or a lack of vaginal bleeding throughout your period, they could be symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other disorders.
Care against osteoporosis
Even if we don't think about osteoporosis when we're young, it might be a major pain as we age. When women reach the age of 50 and beyond, it is one of the most prevalent ailments they face, and it causes easy bone fractures. A fracture can be caused by simple straining or bending.
Make it a habit to exercise and eat calcium- and protein-rich foods like low-fat dairy products, dark green vegetables, tofu, sardines, and calcium-enriched cereals and vitamins when you're young to avoid risk. Smoking, alcohol intake, and physical injuries should all be avoided.
However, avoid excessive calcium consumption as it may cause the formation of kidney stones. Have a balanced diet to get the body enough nutrients and to prevent type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.
When to see an OB-GYN?
Generally, you only need to see your ob-gyn once a year, however after the patient reaches the age of 30, a pap smear and pelvic exam may be required. The check-up will determine if there is a risk of cervical cancer in the future, so do not hesitate to get a check-up. Prevention is always better than cure.
In terms of birth control, there are various methods to select from, including pills, injectables, IUDs, and more. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Consult an OB-Gyn to be sure. She will explain which kind of birth control is best for you based on your current health. You can also consult with Medgate’s specialist doctors to get expert advice regarding proper health care in women!
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Vitamins for the early stage of pregnancy
The first trimester of pregnancy is both thrilling and stressful. Especially for first-time mothers who are unsure about how to care for their future children.
What hormonal changes are felt in the first trimester of pregnancy?
• Fatigue
• Tender and swollen breasts
• Nausea that sometimes includes vomiting
• Frequent urination
• Sensitivity to taste or smell
• Heartburn or the rise of stomach acid in your esophagus
• Constipation
• Mood fluctuations
What changes in your baby during this stage of development?
The brain and spinal cord, as well as other components of his neural system, make up his body. Facial features like the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears develop. The baby's hands, feet and reproductive system begin to develop at three months. As your baby grows, you must also take care of yourself in order to be healthy and safe until your due date.
The following are some of the Prenatal Vitamins you'll require:
• Vitamin B6
Morning sickness, or nausea and vomiting every morning, is a common occurrence throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. This is something that vitamin B6 can help with. In addition, this vitamin plays a role in the development of the brain and nervous system of the baby. Some natural sources of Vitamin B6 include whole-grain cereals, nuts, bananas and beef.
• Calcium
Calcium is important for the developing baby's bone and teeth formation. During pregnancy, the calcium supply of the mother is consumed by the baby. Hence the advice of increased Calcium intake will take care of the baby's need and the mother. Aside from the supplement, natural sources of calcium can be found in milk, cheese, yogurt and dark green leafy vegetables.
• Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important in the absorption and metabolism of calcium. It supports healthy bone and teeth development in the baby. It also helps promote healthy eyesight and skin.
• Iron
Iron is essential in the production of red blood cells. This helps the pregnant mother meet the demands of increased blood volume. The red blood cells also assist in delivering oxygen to the developing baby. Some foods rich in iron are lean red meat, poultry and fish.
• Folic Acid
Folic acid plays a role in the prevention of nervous system birth abnormalities. It also supports the general growth and development of the fetus and placenta. Folic acid has also been found to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia which can cause premature birth of the baby.
Starting a prenatal vitamin should be at the top of your preconception to-do list if you're seriously considering becoming pregnant in the coming months. If you're already pregnant, you should start taking one right away. It will aid in the development of your child's strength and health (as well as your own!).
If you're not thinking about getting pregnant right now but could be in the future, take a folic acid vitamin every day. This will provide you with all that you may require if you become pregnant, without overdoing it on prenatal nutrients.
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Women's month: Providing Healing, Promoting Hope
As part of the worldwide observation of International Women's Day (IWD), the month of March has been declared as National Women's Month to highlight the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development and growth.
IWD came about as a result of women's organizing efforts in the early 20th century. Working women in the United States of America took part in the National Women's Trade Union League and other concerned organizations' strike organizing actions between 1909 and 1911. They were protesting low wages, the lack of protective legislation, and the extremely bad working circumstances that women faced at the period.
Women have always been known for challenging the status quo. Although the fight for equality has continued as cultures have developed through the past, the role of a woman today is more dynamic than ever. Women in more and more places of the world are no longer bound by traditional ‟gender roles, ” and they have more options than ever before. They can work full-time, run households, and raise families — all at the same time.
However, because of the constant pressures of modern life, a woman's physical and mental health might sometimes be neglected. Women's key obstacles to sustaining a healthy lifestyle boil down to two things: a lack of time and a failure to prioritize their own well-being.
From consulting with an OB-Gyne to other health specialists, a lack of time or the presence of other pressing concerns should never prevent a woman from accessing quality healthcare, no matter how fast paced life gets.
Furthermore, professional medical advice is always preferable to a hasty internet search for symptoms or self-medication, especially at the outset of an illness. Medgate makes it simple for any woman to connect with the people she needs to manage her health – whenever she needs them and wherever she is – with its 24/7 availability.
For women’s health needs, stay at home and call a doctor anytime with Medgate. We are here with you providing healing and hope.
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Regularly Irregular
by: Froilan Santos, M.D
Women with normal ovulatory function menstruate regularly each month. Have irregular menstrual periods alerted you as a red flag? Have you been irregularly menstruating since the menarche (start of menstrual period)? It cannot be stressed importantly enough to have the regularity of menstrual cycles in your compass! A normal menstrual period generally lasts up to 7 days, every 28-35 days interval before the onset of a woman's next menstrual period.
Once your cycles become irregular, or worse, have been irregular ever since puberty years from menarche, be observant of other accompanying symptoms reflective of hormonal imbalances such as presence of excess androgen (testosterone) in the form of acne break-outs, thinning hair (from excessive hair loss) and hirsutism (excess body hair in other body parts, presence of hair growth in unusual body areas such as the nape, back, abdominal area, nipple, etc.) and in the long run, unexplained weight gain. If positive for the above-mentioned symptoms, you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a complex hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects 15% of women. It can lead to lifelong complications and other serious conditions including severe anxiety and depression, obesity. endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cardiovascular disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimate more than 50% of women with PCOS will become diabetic or prediabetic before age 40.
The most dreaded symptom in the child-bearing age is infertility due to anovulatory cycles. This can be confirmed by ultrasound with the identification of an ovary with many small cysts resembling a string of pearls at the periphery of the affected ovary/ovaries hence its name: polycystic ovary.
Some studies have shown women with PCOS to be at three times higher risk for endometrial cancer and may also be at increased risk for ovarian and breast cancer. Moreover, some studies also have shown that due to symptoms of anxiety and depression, suicide attempts are up to seven times more common in women with PCOS than other women.
Pre-teens and teens can develop PCOS. Earlier diagnosis can give them the opportunity to better manage the emotional, internal and physical effects of PCOS. It can also help them prevent the onset of more serious illnesses related to PCOS.
PCOS can be hereditary too. If your grandmother, mother or siblings have it, there is an increased chance that you may inherit PCOS. It can only be managed symptomatically.
Despite affecting millions of women and the serious health consequences, PCOS is unknown to most people and a staggering 50% of the women living with PCOS are going undiagnosed.
Awareness is key. The first line in the management of PCOS is pretty simple: STAY within your ideal body weight with proper diet and exercise. For those who are overweight and obese, just a 5-10% body weight loss is already half the battle! Losing weight with exercise and a balanced diet is key in subsiding the symptoms, preventing long-term complications. While this may not be achieved for quite some time, second line treatment is managing the hormonal imbalance with combined oral contraceptive pills (containing progestin and estrogen) to offset the symptoms of irregular cycles (for better cycle control) and controlling the symptoms of hyperandrogenism (acne, excess body hair, massive hair loss) and depending on other findings such as glucose intolerance would warrant other medications for the control of blood glucose levels, cholesterol-lowering drugs if with dyslipidemia or if with a concurrent thyroid dysfunction.
Are you regularly irregular? Then please see your Specialist Doctor for a check-up! As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Do away with the long-term complications by staying within your ideal body weight with regular check-up with your doctor.
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Learn the facts about leprosy and dispel the myths about it
Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) bacteria cause leprosy (Hansen’s Disease), which is a chronic infection. It can cause problems with the skin and nerves of the hands and feet, as well as the eyes and nasal lining. Leprosy can damage other organs, such as the kidneys and in some testicles in men, in some situations. Leprosy can cause abnormalities in the hands and feet, blindness, and kidney failure if left untreated.
People all throughout the world have incorrect and harmful assumptions about leprosy. These views are based on myths, and they contribute to discrimination against persons living with leprosy, as well as hiding symptoms and delaying treatment. When we debunk such myths, we become leprosy advocates, bringing us closer to a world free of the disease.
• Myth 1:
You shouldn’t touch anyone with leprosy because it’s highly contagious.
• Fact 1:
Leprosy is transmitted via droplets, from the nose and mouth, during close, frequent and prolonged contact with untreated patients. One will not get the disease from a casual contact with a treated patient (shaking hands or sitting next to them).
• Myth 2:
Leprosy cannot be cured
• Fact 2:
Leprosy is a treatable and curable disease. Therapy is multidrug, typically using 2 or 3 antibiotics at the same time, which lasts from 6 months to 2 years depending on the disease severity. The medications used to treat leprosy is very effective in killing the bacteria, rendering the patients to be not infectious/contagious.
• Myth 3:
Leprosy causes parts of your body to fall off
• Fact 3:
The disease itself does not cause body parts to fall off. However, a severe inflammatory reaction from an untreated laceration can lead to amputation.
• Myth 4:
People with leprosy need to live in a special home isolated from healthy people
• Fact 4:
People with leprosy who are being treated with antibiotics can live a normal life among their family and friends and can continue to attend work or school.
Many consider leprosy to be an ancient disease that was eradicated many years ago. But every year, thousands of men, women and children around the world develop the disease. Despite effective treatment, leprosy is one of the most stigmatized diseases in the world, and people with leprosy-related disorders are shunned, denied basic human rights and discriminated against in many countries. The stigma of leprosy affects the physical, psychological, social and economic well-being of leprosy patients and contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty in the affected areas.
World Leprosy Day aims to gain a better understanding of leprosy and fight the social stigma associated with this fully curable disease. Do your part by educating yourself about Leprosy and share with your friends and family that leprosy is a curable disease.
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Be proud of your mouth
The theme for Oral Health Month for the next three years sends out a simple but powerful message: Be Proud of Your Mouth. In other words, value and take care of it.
The importance of good oral health to our overall health cannot be overstated. The purpose of appropriate oral hygiene is to prevent gum disease and tooth decay by removing or preventing plaque and tartar growth and buildup. Bacterial colonies thrive in our mouths, and these germs can lead to tooth decay.
Keeping your teeth clean can help prevent cavities and gum disease while also keeping the surfaces of your teeth clean. For proper oral hygiene, here are some brushing essentials:
1. Brush your teeth regularly
Brushing your teeth 3x a day is a healthy habit to adopt in order to avoid plaque buildup on the teeth. Tartar and tooth decay can be avoided by brushing your teeth on a regular basis. If you're going to buy toothpaste, ensure it has fluoride in it. It's also important to remember to replace your toothbrush every three months to avoid germ buildup.
2. Use Mouthwash
Undoubtedly, brushing our teeth on a regular basis is important for our overall health, but it isn't always enough. Some regions of our mouth are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. It's possible that these regions are infested with bacteria that can create illness in our mouths. It's also a good idea to floss your teeth. It helps in removing food debris and bacteria from places that the toothbrush cannot reach.
3. Avoid eating hard foods, as much as you can.
Our teeth are made up of hard material that allows us to bite down on hard objects. However, we have a habit of biting things that harm our teeth. Avoid eating hard food and be cautious while biting bones. Accidents like this can cause tooth injury, which, if left untreated, can escalate to decay.
4. Consult your dentist regularly
Make sure you set an appointment with your dentist regularly. Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health and a smiling face throughout the day.
After all, having good gums and teeth will make us end up with a smile.
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Heart-to-heart health tips for your heart this 2022!
It's always beneficial to have a heart-to-heart talk when you have a problem. But what if it's your heart that's the issue?
Philippine Heart Month, established in 1973 by Proclamation No. 1096, is observed every February to raise awareness of heart disease as a critical problem among Filipinos.
Heart disease is no laughing matter. From 2009 through 2019, heart disease was the leading cause of mortality in the country. Because these statistics apply to people of all ages, the causes of heart disease can range from the foods we eat to lifestyle choices like smoking and not staying in shape, as well as the existence of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
Going to the hospital can be difficult for both healthcare workers and individuals with heart illnesses, especially because our country's healthcare systems are still fighting COVID-19. Telemedicine, on the other hand, is an efficient approach for people with cardiac problems to get the guidance they need in the comfort of their own homes.
Heart problems in stable patients with uncomplicated disease can be managed via telemedicine, as maintenance medications and preventive medical advice are the usual management. Medgate's services are tailored to suit a wide range of patient demands, offering accessible healthcare despite the distance, thanks to our over 20 years of experience as an international leader in telemedicine.
In order to improve the quality of life for someone with heart problems, here are the best ways in which Medgate can help:
1. Better Lifestyle Counseling
Patients can be rest assured that our healthcare experts can deliver comprehensive yet tailored treatment solutions even if sessions aren't done face-to-face. Doctors can tailor-fit lifestyle adjustments and recommendations targeted to help patients live better by looking at a patient's home and living condition - in addition to giving advise on how to eat healthily and reduce weight.
2. Decreased Hospital Visits
Virtual consultations imply less time spent traveling back and forth, less exposure for both patients and staff, and less money spent on hospital admissions and fees, allowing you to spend more time with your loved ones.
3. Better Access to Medicine and More Efficient Medicine Delivery
Time is crucial when it comes to our health. Telemedicine allows patients to reach out to specialists at any time of day, without having to wait in a long line at a hospital. Medicine delivery services are combined with telemedicine consultations to eliminate the need for patients to visit a pharmacy.
When it comes to love issues, reach out to a friend. When it comes to heart problems, consult a physician. Schedule an appointment with Medgate today to keep our hearts healthy in 2022.
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What is Childhood Cancer?
Cancer is a leading cause of death for children and adolescents. Cancer can affect any organ or tissue in a child's body, including the blood and lymph node systems, the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system), kidneys, and other organs and tissues.
The cancers that most commonly affect children differ from those that affect adults. The following are the most prevalent cancers in children:
• Leukemia
• Brain and spinal cord tumors
• Neuroblastoma
• Wilms tumor
• Lymphoma (including both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin)
• Rhabdomyosarcoma
• Retinoblastoma
• Bone cancer (including osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma)
Most of the time, the cause of childhood cancers is unknown. Even if they develop in the same place of the body, childhood cancers can behave very differently than adult cancers.
Cancer develops when healthy cells grow out of control. A mass of cancer cells may form, which is referred to as a “tumor”.
Tumors can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign tumors tend to grow slowly and do not spread. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, grow rapidly, invade & destroy normal tissues and can spread throughout the body.
It is difficult to detect as malignancies may present similarly to other childhood illnesses. The following symptoms, if found, should prompt the parents to bring the child for a consult:
• Unexplained pallor (paleness)
• Increased tendency to bruise
• Unexplained localized pain or limping
• Unusual mass or swelling
• Frequent headaches with vomiting
• Sudden eye or visual changes
• Sudden or progressive weight loss
To provide suitable therapy for the nature and extent of the condition, an accurate diagnosis is required. Chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiotherapy are common treatments. Children also require specific attention for their continuous physical and cognitive development, as well as their nutritional state, which requires the involvement of a multidisciplinary team.
Palliative care eliminates cancer-related symptoms and enhances patients' and their families' quality of life. Although not all children with cancer can be cured, everyone can find comfort from their suffering. Whether or not a child receives curative therapy, pediatric palliative care is considered a critical component of comprehensive care, beginning when the illness is identified and continuing throughout treatment and care.
In this modern age of information, it is incredibly difficult to keep a cancer diagnosis from our children. Instead, when a child is diagnosed with cancer, it may be a right opportunity to educate our children about the science of human diseases. Furthermore, vital lessons on personal hygiene, nutrition, and general health awareness could be instilled in the process. When in doubt, parents should seek clarification from professionals such as their primary pediatric oncologists. Cancers in children are not always treated the same way they are in adults. Pediatric oncology is a medical specialty that deals with the treatment of cancer in children. It's crucial to know that this knowledge exists and that many pediatric cancers can be treated successfully.
Schedule an appointment with Medgate's specialist doctors to get guidance on any health concerns of your child.
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Easy ways to keep your skin healthy
The skin serves as a natural barrier to protect our entire body from the harsh environment and any dangerous substances. It also helps regulate body temperature by preventing dry and depleting water inside the body. Touch, pain, and pressure are all sensations that the skin helps perceive and respond to. Vitamin D is produced in large part by the skin.
These are the reasons why it's critical to keep our skin in good shape. A healthy lifestyle and appropriate skin care are the most effective ways to delay skin aging and avoid various skin issues.
Here are important skin-care practices you should develop:
1. Protect yourself from excessive sun exposure
Being exposed to the sun can result in age spots, wrinkles, and other skin issues. Being deeply exposed to the sun might also lead to skin cancer. If you're going outside, wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 to keep your skin healthy. It's also a good idea to stay in the shade and wear a dress that covers the entire body.
2. Treat the skin lightly
Everyone has a skin care regimen. For some, this is as simple as washing their faces; for others, it entails applying a variety of supplementary skin care products - from the time they get up until they go to bed. However, we should use minimal skin care products in our daily skin care routine. Simply use gentle cleansers and pat dry the skin after bathing, to keep some moister in the skin. Moisturizing the skin is also essential specially for people with dry skin type.
3. Eat healthy foods
There are no better alternatives to using skin care products than eating healthy foods. A healthy diet helps you achieve your best self. For healthier skin, eat lots of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Several studies recommend foods rich in fish oil and low in unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates is key to achieve a younger skin.
4. Learn to manage stress
Many of us are facing stress and other mental health issues specially during this pandemic. It can cause a variety of illnesses or health concerns if not treated. When stress is not managed, experts say, the skin can become sensitive and cause acne breakouts and other skin problems. Stress can be managed in a variety of ways, including getting enough sleep, understanding your physical and mental limitations, and scheduling time for tasks or activities that make you happy.
Maintaining healthy skin is important for more than just your appearance; the skin serves a variety of functions that have an impact on the rest of your body. You can better protect the health and strength of your skin by practicing these good habits.
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Autism Care Guide
Autism, also called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental condition that involves communication and behavioral issues. This can include a wide spectrum of symptoms as well as disabilities. It is a lifelong disorder wherein the degree of functional impairment may range from mild to severe needing full time care.
ASD is a diagnostic label given to a wide category of neurodevelopmental disorders.
These types were analyzed one at a time by differences and intensity of symptoms:
• Autistic disorder
• Asperger’s syndrome
• Childhood disintegrative disorder
• Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
Early Signs of Autism
As previously noted, the most visible signs of autism are connected to communication and interaction with others. Symptoms can be observed by parents or their pediatricians as early as less than a year old. However, these can be more consistently seen by the time a child is 2 or 3 years old.
Autism can be studied, thought about, and solved in a variety of ways. Intellectually speaking, autistic people might fall into a range from ‟severely challenged” to ‟gifted.”
The following are some of the most common symptoms of autism:
• Not answering when called by name
• Avoiding eye contact or not showing awareness when others speak
• Not looking at the things they are shown
• Struggling to understand facial expressions
• Using the same words or phrases repeatedly
• Performing movements that are repeated (stimming)
• Struggling to express needs
• Preferring to play alone
• Struggling to adapt to change or having emotional meltdowns
• Showing hypersensitivity in different senses (smell, taste, sound, etc.)
• Delays in speech and language skills, or lack of conduct
• Loss of previously learned skills
Autism Spectrum Disability (ASD) is a type of developmental disorder. It has now become the umbrella name for all four prior types of autism. ASD is a spectrum disorder that doctors look at depending on how many differences a person has. While persons on the extremes of the spectrum may require assistance to function and manage their lives, many autistic people may live productive, independent, and pleasurable lives with the correct treatment.
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National Deworming Month
What, Why, Where, How: Deworming
by Andrea Peñaflorida, M.D
The Department of Health holds January and July of every year as the National Deworming Month. This drive aims to move towards eliminating intestinal parasitism most specially in children. Currently, the government already offers free deworming services in government and barangay centers. It's a good idea to take advantage of this chance to stay healthy.
Things to know about Deworming
Intestinal worms are a common occurrence due to the variety of sources from which they can be obtained. It can be contracted through undercooked meat (chicken, beef, pork, or fish), polluted water, contaminated soil, feces from worm-infested individuals, or poor sanitation and hygiene. The high environmental exposure places both children and adults at risk to intestinal parasitism.
Signs and symptoms of intestinal parasitism are:
• Anemia
• Abdominal pain
• Diarrhea with presence of blood or mucus at times
• Dizziness
• Loss of appetite
• Malnutrition
• Nausea
• Weight loss and inadequate absorption of nutrients which may lead to Malnutrition.
Adults who need to be dewormed
We commonly believe that deworming should only be done on children, and that adults do not require it. This is a common misconception. Deworming is still recommended as a public health intervention for those living in areas where there is a high prevalence of any soil-transmitted helminths causing intestinal parasitism.
For pregnant women, deworming can be done after the 1st trimester for those residing in areas where hookworm or Trichuris trichiuria infection is more than 20% and where anemia is a public health concern.
When and where should you deworm?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Department of Health (DOH) recommends the use of anti-helminthic drug Albendazole or Mebendazole, once or twice a year depending on the baseline prevalence of parasitism in the locality.
Deworming is contraindicated to those exhibiting fever and any abdominal symptoms such as pain and diarrhea. These patients may be dewormed once well.
It is recommended that one seek the guidance of a healthcare professional for the appropriate dosage and instructions on deworming.
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Weight or wait?
Taking control of your wellbeing this 2022
by Dr Mary Grace L. Angel, M.D
Taking control of our wellbeing, as we welcome the year 2022, may also mean taking control of our weight to stay physically fit, avoid illnesses and to boost our energy level. Physical inactivity is unavoidable in a pandemic, with most people working from home, in addition to the trend for fast food delivery mobile apps, the rise in obesity is imminent. Unwanted fats can accumulate in the most unlikely places like the waist. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, were overweight and of these over 650 million were obese while here in the Philippines, according to Global Nutrition Report an estimated 7.5% of adult women and 5.2% of adult men living with obesity.
A recent study published in August 2021 by Zixin Cai, et al concluded that patients with obesity may have a higher risk of infection, hospitalization, clinically severe disease, mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, and mortality due to COVID-19. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health brought about by imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended due to an increased intake of foods that are high in fat and sugars and an increase in physical inactivity.
Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are screening tools to estimate weight status in relation to potential disease risk. BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI of ≥25 is considered at risk for developing associated diseases. You may check here to compute your BMI:
• If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
• If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range.
• If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
• If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range
Waist circumference is strongly connected with abdominal fat levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It gives a clinically acceptable method of determining a patient's abdomen fat content before and after weight loss treatment. To correctly measure waist circumference: Stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hip bones. Make sure tape is horizontal around the waist. Keep the tape snug around the waist, but not compressing the skin. Measure your waist just after you breathe out. For Men more than 40 inches while for women if more than 35 inches has higher risk of developing obesity-related conditions. Obesity raises the risk of morbidity from hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and certain cancers and with recent studies, the severity of Covid infection. Though we cannot change our genes, sex, and age, we can do something about our weight.
Weight loss and weight management
We cannot lose weight overnight, and now may not be the best time to go jogging in the park or to hit the gym, but we must view healthy weight loss as a commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle which includes a habit of eating a well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet combined with daily exercise, as in the old adage, “No pain, no gain.” Begin by taking small actions toward a new, healthier you.
The assessment and therapy management of the overweight or obese patient is a two-step process. The degree of overweight and general risk status must be determined throughout the assessment while for the management, excess body weight must be reduced, as well as other risk factors must be controlled.
People who lose weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week) are more effective at losing weight, according to the CDC and Mayo Clinic. To lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you must burn 500 to 1,000 calories more per day through a reduced calorie diet and frequent physical exercise.
Even a small weight loss of 5 to 10% of your total body weight can result in health benefits such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and lower blood sugar levels. After 6 months of weight loss treatment, efforts should be made to sustain the weight loss. Preventing additional weight gain is an important objective for people who are unable to achieve significant weight loss.
An increase in physical activity is an important component of weight loss therapy. Sustained physical activity is the most effective way to avoid regaining weight. The exercise can be done all at once or in spurts throughout the day. The patient can begin by walking 30 minutes three days a week and gradually increase to 45 minutes of more intense walking at least five days a week.
Obesity is associated with severe disease and mortality in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a meta-analysis by Zixin Cai et al.Aug 4th, 2021;21(1):1505.
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5 Tips to end the year healthy
2021 is slowly coming to a close and what a year has it been. From increasing cases of COVID-19, to vaccination drives, and now hopefully to slowly easing lockdowns. The remaining days of the year are going to fly by between your work duties, back-to-school activities, and Christmas celebrations with friends and family.
Some people are already looking ahead and preparing for next year. Others, on the other hand, find themselves dwelling on all the goals they didn't reach and the disappointments they experienced. It's not too late to conclude the year strong, whether the previous 12 months were full with joy or the darkest time of your life (or anywhere in between).
1. Sleep at a reasonable time and get enough rest.
If your 2021 is jam-packed with late night sleeps and work, set objectives for 2022 to sleep early and get adequate rest. This will assist the body in recharging its batteries and calming our minds. It can also make us feel lighter, aid in the prevention of heart disease, and improve our memory.
2. Eat right and healthy food
Make eating right and healthful food a personal shift as well. And since Christmas and New Year are in line, many of us will undoubtedly vow to start a diet in 2022. Keep in mind, however, that simply reducing weight without dieting does not imply that you are healthy. It is preferable to eat every 4 hours and have a “second lunch,” which will keep you energized in the afternoon and satisfy your appetite at night. Meanwhile, be sure that the food you're eating is nutritious. It's important to remember that weight loss will be ineffective if the process isn't correct and nutritious.
3. Highlight your accomplishments.
While looking for ways to improve is beneficial, there's nothing wrong with patting ourselves on the back for a job well done. This year, you might have gotten around to opening a small savings or investing account. Maybe you gave up smoking or kept to your workout routine. Personal achievements and successes are worth toasting to, no matter how insignificant they may appear.
4. Take a step back and take a look at yourself.
Just as we should acknowledge our victories, we must also acknowledge the areas where we have fallen short. Make a note of all the things you meant to get done this year but didn't. Then think about how you're going to make sure it happens right now.
5. Thank the folks who helped you get through the year with a genuine “Thank You”.
Consider all of your low points over the course of the year. Consider who was still there with you at the time. Then express your gratitude to those who have meant so much to you. Those who assist us with an open heart are often unaware of the magnitude of their contribution, thus it is our responsibility to inform them. And to express our gratitude to them.
You are here in the present moment, and the future is blazing in front of you. For the 365 days you lived in 2021, shake it to the left. Shake it to the right for the next 365 days of freshness. Allow 2021 to pass you by, and open your heart wide open for all the loving, learning, and living that awaits you in the new year!
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Ideas for Nutritious and delicious Christmas meals!
Every Christmas season, buffet tables would always be stocked with delicious meat delicacies like lechon, ham, morcon, embutido, and roast chicken. Leche flan, fruit salad, ube halaya, kakanin, and the family's favorite cakes would be served for dessert.
Excessive consumption of such meals, even if delicious, is unhealthy for those with high blood pressure or high blood pressure. Heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure become more likely as well.
If you want to start offering healthier dishes this holiday season, here are some ideas.
1. Prepare delicious vegetable dishes
Vegetables, when combined with pleasant foods, are anti-obesity and anti-weight gain. The calories are low, and some of them help decrease harmful cholesterol levels in the body.
2. Use olive oil for preparing meals
Make it a habit to think of alternative ingredients that can be substituted for the dish you’re preparing. When cooking, use olive oil instead of palm or vegetable oil. It can also be used in place of butter or margarine in fillings. Olive oil has healthy fats that lower cholesterol and aid weight loss.
3. Avoid using canned products
Use fresh fruits instead of canned fruits while making fruit salad, for example. Pick ripe papaya, sweet bananas, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, and pear. You can toss them in cream if you wish, or you can simply squeeze some lemon over them and chill the dish for a few hours before serving. The fruits will stay fresh and taste delicious as a result of this.
4. Don't forget to exercise
Following a pleasant Noche Buena, you can exercise the next day to keep a balanced lifestyle. Brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, and other easy cardio workouts are also options. Exercise strengthens the body and increases resilience to pain, in addition to lowering high blood pressure.
5. Drink fruit or vegetable juice
Fiber is rich in vegetables and fruits, which helps to reduce blood pressure. Unsweetened fruit juice or a blend of vegetable and fruit juices are both acceptable options. If you buy a lot of them, you can turn them into salads or use them as ingredients in your Christmas cooking.
These basic procedures, as well as a change in how and what you consume throughout the holidays, will keep you happy after the festivities are gone. You'll have more strength and stamina to get through the hustle and bustle of the season, in addition to feeling better physically. Furthermore, you will be able to save even more money! Consult your doctor or a nutritionist if you want to be more informed about your diet. They will analyze your body and recommend a diet to help you manage your high blood pressure.
Wishing you a healthy and pleasant Christmas season!
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5 healthy holiday gifts
We only have a few days till Christmas, so we need to be able to prepare and purchase Christmas gifts, as well as save a present for our children. If you're on a budget, you can give a unique and special present this holiday season by giving healthy and inexpensive gifts. What are some good healthy gifts to give to family, friends, coworkers, and kids?
• Travel mug
For caffeine enthusiasts, the travel mug is a perfect gift. Moderate tea and coffee consumption has numerous health benefits, including improved breathing and cancer-fighting antioxidants.
• Lotion
The lotion aids in moisturizing and maintaining a healthy skin. With the number of skin care products available in stores, it is simple to find and purchase.
• Yoga Equipment
Yoga is a wonderful kind of exercise and meditation. This set comes with a yoga mat and strap, a resistance band, a foamy exercise ball, and a workout instruction. If you don't have the funds for the entire kit, you can start with a yoga mat, which is one of the most fundamental items needed for yoga.
• Recipe book
Friends and family who enjoy cooking will undoubtedly appreciate the recipe book that will be received at Christmas. There are recipe books for vegetarians, dessert lovers, and Japanese food fans, among others.
• The gift of health
The best give that you can give your loved ones is the gift of health. Christmas time is sacred family time so building lasting memories with your loved ones is imperative. Give the gift of health to your loved ones by availing a Medgate Unliconsultation Plan for only 999! With the plan, your loved ones can get unlimited access to Medgate’s pool of doctors, wherever, whenever.
For kids:
• Books (1 to 12 years old)
A book fosters a lifelong interest in reading. When a book is elegantly wrapped and given with love, it communicates the message that it is something special, something to treasure. When viewed in this light, it becomes a source of desire and delight rather than a source of obligation and responsibility.
• Sensory objects for kids (1 year old to 12 years old)
Play that stimulates the senses promotes in the formation of neuronal connections in the brain, which are necessary for learning from infancy through formal schooling and into adulthood. Some examples of sensory things can be kinetic sand, twister, Ball Pit, and a trampoline
• Bicycle (3 to 12 years old)
Even at an early age, bicycles make an excellent gift for children. There are many types of bicycles to be given away depending on the age, such as bikes with training wheels and bikes with huge wheels. This is also one way to encourage children to play outdoors.
• Sports Equipment (3 to 12 years old)
Many young people enjoy sports like basketball, volleyball, and badminton. When kids discover a passion, it is beneficial to support them by giving equipment for the sports that they are interested in. Sporting activities can also help children develop self-esteem as well as build their social skills when they play with their friends.
• Puzzles (3 to 12 years old)
Puzzles make such a fantastic gift for children because there are an unlimited number of puzzles available also for each age group, with any potential theme. Your kids will enjoy spending hours putting together their favorite characters in a puzzle designed particularly for their skill level. Puzzles also provide several learning benefits, including the capacity to solve problems, establish and follow strategies, coordination, situational awareness, and visual awareness. This can also be a bonding activity among the whole family.
Gift giving is popular throughout the country. Giving healthy gifts can act as inspiration for the recipient's health and well-being, especially as the new year approaches.
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No Jingle Bells When Ear Swells
By Phidelle Andres, M.D
Ear infections are common occurrences in all age groups. Of these illnesses, the two most commonly encountered in the clinics are Acute Otitis Externa (AOE) and Acute Otitis Media (AOM).
Approximately 10% of people will develop otitis externa during their lifetime, and the majority of cases (95%) are acute. Most occur during the summer and in tropical climates such as here in the Philippines. Otitis media, on the other hand, is the most common disease of childhood, with the exception of viral upper respiratory infections. The acute bacterial infection of the middle ear occurs in 80% of children between the ages of 1 and 6 years.
Even though both are ear infections, how one individual develops them entirely differs.
Otitis Externa: The Infection of the External Ear
AOE involves rapid onset (<48 hours) of signs and symptoms. It is generally associated with two reasons: local trauma; or exposure of ear canal to water predisposing to further injury.
Local trauma happens due to frequent ear manipulation (i.e. meticulously cleaning your ear Every. Single. Day.).
Did you know that the ceruminous debris you try so hard to extract is akin to Christmas ornaments meant to be kept in the tree?
Cerumen, commonly known as ear wax, has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It acts both as a physical barrier and a protective coating over the external ear. Therefore, routine ear cleaning is not advisable.
Additionally, the ear canal possesses a unique self-cleansing mechanism. The sloughed skin cells along with various dirt are migrated outwards then spontaneously extruded.
So next time you think of removing those ear waxes, imagine how lifeless your Christmas tree would look without its ornaments.
The second reason is more common in the tropical climates where individuals enjoy swimming in the cold, glimmering sea. Hence, it’s also called the “Swimmer’s Ear” or “Tropical Ear”
The constant moisture kept in the ear macerates the skin, predisposing it to injury with the slightest manipulation. The seawater likewise washes off the cerumen and alters the pH of your ear making it susceptible to infections.
Otitis Media: Infection of the Middle Ear
It often starts after you have had a sore throat, cold, flu, seasonal allergies, or other upper respiratory problem. The produced mucus migrates to your ears via a connecting tube, stays in the middle ear, and ultimately, bacteria grows causing infection. All aforementioned illnesses tend to peak in the colds months…And you’ve guessed that right, for instance, during our notorious “4-month Christmas Season” in the Philippines.
Signs and Symptoms:
Like how one became accustomed to the melody of Jingle Bells, it might be prudent to familiarize oneself with the following:
• Fever ≥37.8C
• Ear itchiness
• Ear redness
• Ear discharge
• Ear pain
• Ear fullness or hearing loss
• Tenderness of ear lobe or tragus
• Recurrent colds or nasal congestion
Once encountered, you’ll know immediately who to call: your “sENTa Claus”
We never grew tired of hearing the same yearly Christmas melodies since the lyrics still convey their meaning. Similarly, claiming that prevention is better than cure still holds true to this year. Here are some words of advice in order for you to enjoy the Holidays without aching ears.
• Get vaccinated (e.g. Flu, Pneumococcal). They protect against the common pathogens of middle ear infection.
• Clean your hands and avoid frequent ear manipulation.
• Breastfeed exclusively until your baby is 6 months old and continue for at least 12 months.
• Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
• Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming or taking a bath.
Lastly, here’s a gift about EAR CLEANING FACTS:
“A dry ear is unlikely to become infected, so it is important to keep the ears free of moisture after swimming or bathing. Q-tips should not be used for this purpose, because they may pack material deeper into the ear canal, remove protective earwax, and irritate the thin skin of the ear canal creating the perfect environment for infection. The SAFEST WAY to dry your ears is with a hair dryer, set on the cool setting.” – AAO-HNSF
Enjoy The Festivities Without Ear Miseries!
Flint, Paul W., Paul W. Flint, and Charles W. Cummings. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2021.
Gupta S, Singh R, Kosaraju K, Bairy I, Ramaswamy B. A study of antibacterial and antifungal properties of human cerumen. Indian J Otol 2012;18:189-92
Medina-Blasini Y, Sharman T. Otitis Externa. Updated 2021 Aug 7. In: StatPearls Internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
Philippine Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery: Clinical Practice Guidelines, December 2016
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Transition from childhood to adulthood
Children spend the most of their time with their parents before starting preschool or grade school: learning from them, laughing, crying, and sharing everything in between.
Parenting may go on many different directions. Some parenting techniques can make children's transition from childhood to adulthood more difficult. If parents lack enough care and supervision for their children, they may feel as if they are abandoning them. On the other hand, doing everything for your children might lead to you exerting control over them and denying them the freedom to make their own decisions and express themselves.
It is important that we give our children the language and skills for dealing with strong or challenging feelings, like anger or frustration, in a positive way. This way, we can help our children to develop social skills and learn to manage their emotions.
How to establish and maintain a healthy relationship with a child who is coming of age:
• Build a sense of competency by providing tasks that are seen as interesting, meaningful and achievable.
• Instead of demanding, provide a suggestion! Explain your reasons for a suggestion, such as something they should do differently, in a clear and detailed manner. Your partnership should be based on mutual respect rather than reliance and authority.
• It's critical to recognize that your children now have other significant individuals in their lives. You should be pleased and proud of them since they have a variety of individuals they may turn to in times of need.
Finally, you must accept that you have done your best as a parent and respect your children's life choices. If you manage them too much during their adolescence, it may become stressful or unhealthy for everyone. Keep in mind that building strong and positive relationships between parents and children leads to desirable outcomes in early childhood, as well as in adolescence.
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Children and Screen Time: Is my child having too much?
by Carla Mia Carandang, M.D, DPPS
Smart phones, Smart TVs, and tablets are now part of the Filipino household. In this modern day and age, fun and socialization for the younger population are mostly dependent on gadgets. This is especially true during this time of the pandemic where children spend most of their time in online classes. Afterwards, they play games on their phones and binge-watch K-Dramas, animé or whatever shows are currently popular. Unfortunately, this situation overexposes our children to digital screens at a young age, which may affect their health and well-being.
A recent study showed that the average Filipino child spends about 34 hours per week in front of digital screens for entertainment alone which is two hours higher than the global average. About 53 percent of the students access the internet through their own personal mobile phones, while 41 percent access the internet through their family computers. Among the top activities cited are watching videos, using a search engine, playing games, listening to music, and creating social media profiles.
The Pitfalls of Excessive Screen Time
Prolonged screen time has direct and indirect effects on a child’s health. Recreational screen time increases with age and displaces more beneficial forms of sedentary behaviors (i.e. reading). Screen time also takes over physical activity, play, and sleep.
Too much screen time may lead to:
• Sleep problems
• Lower grades in school
• Reading fewer books
• Less time with family and friends
• Not enough outdoor or physical activity
• Weight problems
• Mood problems
• Poor self-image and body image issues
• Fear of missing out
• Fear of missing out
• Less time to develop new skills and hobbies
Since children who have their personal gadgets have more freedom in accessing various contents, the parents may not always know what they are viewing, or how much time they are spending with their screens. Because of this, their children may be exposed to:
• Violence and risk-taking behaviors
• Videos of stunts or challenges that may inspire unsafe behavior
• Sexual content
• Negative stereotypes
• Substance use
• Cyberbullies and predators
• Advertising aimed at your child
• Misleading or inaccurate information
Screen Time Guidelines for Children
Parents are encouraged to help their children develop healthy media use habits at an early age. Managing your child’s screen time can be daunting at first but communicating and establishing boundaries with your child is beneficial. The Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc. (based on the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics) follows these important measures on pediatric screen time:
• <18 months of age – screen time for video chatting only (for example, with a parent who is out of town).
• 18 and 24 months - screen time should be limited to watching educational programming with a caregiver, <1 hour per day.
• For children 2-5 years old- limit non-educational screen time to about 1 hour per weekday and 3 hours during weekends.
• For ages 6 and older – screen time <2 hours per day; encourage physical activities and limit activities that include screens
• Turn off all screens during family meals and outings.
• Learn about and use parental controls.
• Avoid using screens as pacifiers, babysitters, or a way to stop tantrums.
• Turn off screens and remove them from bedrooms 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
Screen time is not all bad and can also offer many benefits. It’s never too early to develop a screen-time plan with your family. Let your children share their ideas and concerns. Here are some additional tips:
• Familiarize yourself with the shows that your child is watching to make sure they are age appropriate.
• For the young ones, talk to them about what they are seeing. Point out good behavior, such as cooperation, friendship, and concern for others. Make connections to meaningful events or places of interest.
• Be aware of advertising and how it influences choices.
• Encourage your child to learn other activities such as sports, music, art, and hobbies that do not involve screens.
• Set a good example with your own safe and healthy screen habits.
• Teach children about online privacy and safety.
• Actively decide on when to give your child the privilege of a personal device.
• Encourage using screens in ways that build creativity and connection with family and friends.
• Consider your child or teen’s maturity and habits. The right plan for one family may not be a good fit for another.
Healthy and beneficial screen use is possible with proper guidance and consistency. If you are concerned about your child’s screen time or if you need more help and advice, talk to your pediatrician or family physician. If your child’s problems persist, ask for a referral to a qualified mental health professional.
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Vitamin C For Kids
The human body can be compared to a machine that has many different parts and has different roles to play in keeping an individual alive and healthy. Every part of the body is important for its overall function. For the body to function properly, it needs organic nutrients that we call vitamins. Vitamins are nutrients needed for the health of the body. When food enters the body without or lacks vitamins, there is a weakening of the immune system which leads to illness.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C or also known as ascorbic acid is an important nutrient that helps in wound healing, controlling of infections and repair & maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth. It is also important in the synthesis of collagen and several hormones in the body. It is more popular as a boost-resistance and antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals that may damage our cells. These free radicals are molecules that can play a role in the development of cancer, heart diseases & other disease states.
Good sources of vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, potatoes, and peppers.
Benefits of Vitamin C to our body:
1. Strengthen the immune system
One of the most well-known benefits of Vitamin C is that it strengthens our immune system or resistance. It is necessary for the normal production of white blood cells that the body is resistant to infections. As an antioxidant, this vitamin strengthens the skin so that germs do not immediately damage it. Vitamin C deficiency is said to contribute to poor health outcomes in different disease states. As an example, patients with low Vitamin C levels are more prone to developing Pneumonia and recovery time from any illness may take longer.
2. Protection against disease
Vitamin C and its versions such as sodium ascorbate are antioxidants that protect children’s bodies against the harmful free radicals in the environment caused by pollution, which in turn protects them from easily acquiring infections
3. Prevention of iron deficiency
Iron is an important nutrient in the body because it is needed for the production of red blood cells and the delivery of oxygen to various parts of the body. Vitamin C supplements help speed up the absorption of iron from our diet. It also facilitates the conversion of poorly absorbed iron (from plant-based sources) into a form that is easily absorbed by the body. Because of this, people at-risk of iron deficiency are encouraged to eat foods rich in Vitamin C and take supplements such as iron and ascorbic acid.
This vitamin also plays a big role in the repair and strengthening of the bones and teeth of children.
Since children love to play and explore, it is inevitable that they will sometimes be injured or have cuts. Vitamin C helps their body make collagen which can facilitate wound healing by supporting new blood vessel formation and granulation/healing tissue formation on the wound.
In this time of pandemic, many are worried for children and are looking for vitamins that can help maintain the health of children and siblings. An important step for children is to make sure they have enough vitamin C available from healthy foods and vitamin supplements.
For any questions regarding the nutrients for your child, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our pediatricians at Medgate. We are open 24/7, even on holidays.
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Kids’ Tooth-torial
by Carla Mia Carandang, M.D, DPPS
Oral and dental health is of great importance to a child’s overall health, well-being and quality of life. Poor oral health can lead to untreated dental diseases causing eating, sleeping and learning problems in children and adolescents. This will have a negative impact on a child’s social interactions, school achievement, general health and quality of life.
Interesting facts regarding your child’s teeth
Dental development, specifically calcification of the primary teeth, starts early during fetal period and is completed by the 3rd year of age. See the table and accompanying image provided for further information on the timing of eruption of primary teeth in children. Delayed eruption is considered when there are no teeth eruption by 13 months of age.
What are the most common dental problems?
Dental Caries (tooth decay or cavities) and Periodontal Diseases (gum diseases) are the two most common oral health diseases affecting the Filipinos. There is 87.4 % of Filipinos suffering from dental caries while 48.3 % has gum disease (based on the 2011 National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey).
Here are some risk factors that can increase the chance of your child to have cavities:
• Some family members (older brothers, sisters, or parents) also have cavities.
• Eating and drinking a lot of sugary foods and drinks, like soda, candies and juices especially between meals.
• Children with special health care needs.
• Children wearing braces, orthodontics or oral appliances.
How to care for your child’s teeth?
The Philippine Pediatric Dental Society, Inc. (PPDSI) developed guidelines to help fight the early onset of dental caries in children. Together with the Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc. (PPS) and guided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), they advocate for the appropriate use of fluoride as part of the comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special needs. When used appropriately, fluoride is both safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries. Various topical fluoride applications are recommended in the form of toothpastes, mouth rinses and varnishes, especially because of the lack of water fluoridation in the Philippines. As a preventive measure, it is recommended that the first dental visit should be done at the time of eruption of the first tooth and not later than 12 months of age.
Here are some key points to guide you:
• For infants, use either a washcloth or soft brush in cleansing teeth to reduce bacterial colonization.
• Avoid prolonged bottle feeding or bottle feeding your child while asleep as this can increase the risk of early dental caries.
• Children 6 months to < 2 years old should use a smear size (2.5mm) of toothpaste containing no less than 1000 ppm fluoride, twice daily.
• Children 2-6 years old should use a pea size (5mm) of toothpaste containing no less than 1000 ppm fluoride, twice daily.
• Children 6 years old and above should use 10-20mm (or full length of the bristle) of toothpaste containing 1350-1500 ppm of fluoride, twice daily.
• Spitting out excess toothpaste and no water rinsing is preferable because thorough rinsing reduces the fluoride in the mouth to sub-optimal conditions.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, if your child has a high risk to develop cavities, always remember to keep in touch with your dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor to make sure you are taking extra steps to protect your child’s teeth.
Preventive Pediatric Healthcare Handbook of the Philippine Pediatric Society, 2018
Kliegman RM, S. B. (2016). Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics 20th Edition. Elsevier, Inc.
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National Children's Month
National Children's Month begins every November, as designated by the Council of Welfare for Children (CWC). This month-long event strives to educate and raise awareness about children's rights in the Philippines, while taking into account the country's political and social situation.
The theme for this year is: New Normal na walang iwanan: Karapatan ng bawat bata ating tutukan.
National Children's Month, as it does every year, aims to promote and recognize children as the nation's most valuable assets, as well as to emphasize the importance of their role within the Filipino family and society.
Most parents' efforts, forethought, and self-control are required to be a positive role model. Because your children are always observing you, your actions, beliefs, and attitudes get ingrained in their minds; as a result, it is critical that you choose your behaviors carefully.
Let us aim to provide a good example for our children by being conscious of our behaviors. Because a child's character is formed at home, every family member should strive to make the house a secure and harmonious environment, as the atmosphere and conditions will have a significant influence on the child's growth.
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I got my COVID-19 vaccine! Now what?
by Dr. Crystle Cotingting M.D
First of all, congratulations on your decision to protect yourself against the severe complications of COVID-19! Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get at Medgate from people after vaccination.
What can I expect?
The most commonly reported side effects from any of the COVID-19 vaccines are pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you received your shot. For this, cold compress for 10-15 minutes every few hours should help reduce the pain and swelling.
Fever, feeling tired, muscle pains and headache are other expected side effects after vaccination. If you develop any of these, taking over-the-counter Paracetamol can help.
These symptoms are expected to go away within 2-3 days. If you do not see any improvements in your symptoms by this time, contact the COVID-19 vaccine hotline given to you at the vaccination site.
What symptoms should raise concern?
Symptoms such as the following are a bit more concerning.
• Difficulty of breathing or shortness of breath
• Sensation of tightness around your throat
• Chest pain
• Palpitations
• Severe or persistent headache
• Leg swelling
• Persistent abdominal pain
If you have these symptoms or other unusual symptoms, it would be best if you go directly to the nearest emergency room for further evaluation and management. Please also contact the COVID-19 vaccine hotline number.
I developed cough and colds after vaccination. Is this to be expected?
Cough and colds are NOT an expected side effect from the vaccine. This could be a common cold (or upper respiratory tract infection), but may also be a COVID-19 infection.
I didn’t develop any symptoms at all after the vaccine. Should I be worried?
No. People react differently to the vaccines. Not getting any side effects also does NOT mean that your vaccine did not work.
Can I now stop wearing masks?
No, you should continue practicing minimum public health standards (mask – hugas – iwas), even after getting vaccinated. It takes some time for your body to build protection against COVID-19. Remember,vaccines are only one of the tools in our arsenal to protect against COVID - 19.Think of vaccination like carrying an umbrella,wearing a mask is like wearing a rain coat,and the face shield to rubber boots.Each adds another layer of protection!
Lastly, did you know that in a recent Pulse Asia survey (June 2021), seeing relatives, friends and acquaintances get vaccinated is one of the reasons that would convince people to get vaccinated? So, please do share that vaccination selfie! Talk to people, especially people who might be on-the-fence about getting the vaccine, about your experiences. Help people who may not know how or is having difficulty registering for the vaccine. It is going to take all of us to make sure everyone is vaccinated and we are not going to be protected, unless everyone is protected.
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Now Eye Know!
by Juan Paolo Delos Santos, M.D
Error of Refraction (EOR) is one of the most common eye conditions in the world. Globally, it affects 2.3 billion people. It has a higher occurrence among South East Asian countries, including the Philippines, as compared to western countries. EORs can greatly affect quality of life if left uncorrected. However, it can easily be diagnosed, measured, and corrected by using corrective glasses, contact lenses, and even refractive laser surgery. Here are some important definitions you need to know:
Visual Acuity (VA)
Visual Acuity is defined as sharpness of vision, measured by the ability to discern letters or numbers at a given distance according to a fixed standard. It is usually expressed as a fraction (distance of the patient from the chart/distance the average person can see from the chart)
For example, a 20/20 vision means that a person can see an object from 20 feet away what an average person can also see from 20 feet away. If a person has a 20/40 vision, that means that he can see from 20 feet away what the average person can see from 40 feet away. It means that he has a blurry vision and needs to get nearer the object for him to see clearly.
For example, a 20/20 vision means that a person can see an object from 20 feet away what an average person can also see from 20 feet away. If a person has a 20/40 vision, that means that he can see from 20 feet away what the average person can see from 40 feet away. It means that he has a blurry vision and needs to get nearer the object for him to see clearly.
Nearsightedness or Myopia
As the name implies, a nearsighted patient can only clearly see near objects. Distant or far objects are blurry to him. These types of patients are the ones who need to get closer to the object to see it better. Patients with Myopia are given “negative” or “minus” lenses like -2.00D, -2.50D, etc. This usually happens when the length of the eyeball is anatomically longer than usual. Generally, the longer the eye ball, the higher the negative grade of the glasses. For example, a patient with a -3.00 grade has a longer eyeball than a patient with a -1.00 grade.
These are the patients who can see clearly at far but has a blurry vision at near. They are usually given “positive” or “plus” lenses like +2.00D, +2.50, etc. This happens when the length of the eyeball is anatomically shorter than the normal length. Generally, the shorter the eyeball, the higher the positive grade, i.e., a patient with a +3.00 grade has a shorter eyeball that a person with a +1.00 grade.
Astigmatism is defined as a condition in which the eye is not completely round. Imagine the eyeball as having the shape of a basketball, wherein all the light that comes in converge evenly at the macula. An astigmatic eye is like a football-shaped eye where the lights that come in are bent unevenly, giving the sensation of a skewed or wavy view.
Presbyopia is the condition where the eyes have a hard time accommodating to read at near. This is similar to farsightedness but has a different mechanism. It usually begins at 40 years old and is corrected also by “plus” lenses or reading glasses.
Note that all these different types can occur simultaneously together. Some people can have myopia with astigmatism and presbyopia while some can have hyperopia and astigmatism but no presbyopia.
Detection, Measurement, and Treatment of EOR
A person can easily be detected to have EOR simply by letting him read the Snellen’s chart found mostly in optical centers and doctor’s clinics. Their refraction or grade can be determined by doing a retinoscopy either manually or by machine. Once the refraction or grade is established, treatment is done by prescribing the appropriate glasses or contact lens. Hence, it is very important to test your vision thru the Snellen’s chart at least once a year to see if you are developing any Error of Refraction.
Persons With Disability
According to the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), an individual is qualified to be issued a PWD card if his/her:
1. Best Corrected Visual Acuity is 20/70 or worse in the better eye
2. Field of Vision is less that 20 degrees wide in the better eye (seen on patients with glaucoma)
3. Vision cannot be improved by glasses, medications or surgery.
It is not based on the grade of your glasses but is based on your visual acuity when you are wearing glasses. Hence, a person with a grade of -8.00D but can still see 20/20 once he wears his glasses is not considered a PWD. On the contrary, a person with a grade of -3.00D but has a Best Corrected Visual Acuity of only 20/80 on both eyes is considered a PWD. These patients usually have a vision impairing condition like End-stage Glaucoma, Severe Diabetic Retinopathy, Bilateral Retinoblastoma, and the like.
Remember, have an annual check-up with your ophthalmologist so we can catch your eye diseases earlier! Now you know!
Hashemi H, Fotouhi A, Yekta A, Pakzad R, Ostadimoghaddam H, Khabazkhoob M. Global and regional estimates of prevalence of refractive errors: Systematic review and meta-analysis. J Curr Ophthalmol. 2017;30(1):3-22. Published 2017 Sep 27. doi:10.1016/j.joco.2017.08.009
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Global Handwashing Day
Now that the world is still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, our usual routine has drastically changed. This Global Handwashing Day, specialists from local to international organizations are urging everyone to integrate hand washing into our daily lives.
Importance of Hand Hygiene during this pandemic
Our hands are one of the main pathways of germ transmission. There are a lot of possible exposures that our hands get in contact with daily such as:
• Handling of raw food products when preparing food
• Use of the toilet
• Changing diapers
• Touching common objects like doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, remote controls that may be contaminated (ex: someone accidently coughing/sneezing then touches the object).
The bacteria or virus can then get into the human body through foods or drinks that are taken or by touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
It is thus important to always keep our hands clean to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens and avoid getting sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a community that practices proper hand washing will experience a significant decrease in the number of people developing hygiene-related diseases.
How to properly wash your hands
This is where the importance of appropriate handwashing with soap comes into play, as proper handwashing with soap reduces the spread of germs. Simply follow these handwashing measures to keep your hands clean:
1. Rinse hands with clean tap water (either cold or warm). Turn off the tap and wash hands with soap.
2. Make sure the soap is lathered by hand. Rub the palms and between the fingers thoroughly, removing any dirt that has become compressed under the nails. Just keep going for another 20 seconds. As a timer, you can sing and finish “Happy Birthday” twice.
4. Dry hands with a clean towel or an air dryer.
If the hands are not visibly soiled or there is no available soap and water, an alcohol-based formulation may be used to clean the hands.
The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from a variety of infectious diseases, such as common cold, is to wash your hands properly and teach your children to do the same. Washing your hands not only prevents you from getting sick, but it also reduces the risk of infecting others.
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What is Mental Health and how do we take care of it?
The Philippines celebrates National Mental Health Week every second week of October, based on Proclamation No. 452, signed by then-President Fidel V. Ramos on August 25, 1994. Meanwhile, World Mental Health Day is commemorated every year on October 10th.
What is Mental Health?
The emotional, psychological, and social well-being of someone is referred to as mental health. It affects how we think, feel and act. in life, as well as how we interact with others. It helps determine how we deal with stress and adversities in life. Mental health varies throughout our lives, from childhood until we grow old.
An individual’s mental health may change over time depending on a lot of factors such as:
· Life Experiences: Trauma or Abuse
· Biological Factor: Genes or Brain Chemistry
· Family history of mental health problems
· Environmental Factor: When demands placed on a person exceed their coping ability
If you are going through mental health issues, you are not alone, and there are people and institutions who can support you. People who go through from mental illnesses can be cured and be entirely free of their illness.
Signals to Look Out For
· No appetite or overeating
· Not performing daily activities such as: taking care of children or going to work or school.
· Suicidal thoughts or plans to harm oneself or others
· Audible voices or beliefs in things that are not true
· Memories or thoughts that you can't get out of your head
· Mood swings that affect personal relationships
· Getting into a fight with a family member or a friend
· Always excited, forgetful, irritable, sad, worried, or scared
· Drinking alcohol, smoking, and using drugs beyond its normal consumption
· Feeling hopeless
· There are unexplained diseases in the body
· Low energy consumption
· Excluding people and socializing
How to Maintain Good Mental Health and How to Fight Mental Health Problems:
· Talk about how you feel with a trusted person or an expert.
· Eat fresh foods and eat on time; Avoid high sugar foods and eat more vegetables and fruits.
· Be more active physically
· Interact or mingle with other people
· Maintain a positive outlook on life.
· Get adequate sleep and rest.
· Value yourself. Treat yourself with kindness, respect and avoid self-criticism.
· Learn how to deal with stress. It is a part of life. We must learn how to cope-up and practice it.
· Learn how to meditate
· Create goals that you can achieve. Don’t force yourself to do things that are too heavy for you
· Avoid drinking alcohol and drugs
Philippine Mental Health Association at National Center for Mental Health
The Philippine Mental Health Association and the National Center for Mental Health are two organizations you can contact to learn more about the many programs and services they offer to those suffering from mental illnesses. To contact them, go to their website at:
· Philippine Mental Health Association:
· National Center for Mental Health:
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How to Detect and Treat Thyroid Problems
The thyroid is the small butterfly-shaped organ in the middle part of the neck. It is also called the “master controller” because it is responsible for producing, storing, and releasing thyroid hormones into the blood. Thyroid hormones play an important role in our body affecting the brain and other organs.
What is the role of the thyroid?
The thyroid gland generates hormones that are required for various brain processes and the body's metabolism. It also controls heart rate and body temperature. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can have an impact on other body processes, especially if it is not addressed.
The primary symptoms of an unhealthy or dysfunctional thyroid include mood swings and feeling fatigued despite getting enough sleep. It may also involve a sudden sensation of anxiousness, which might indicate that the thyroid is producing too much thyroid hormone. Other symptoms include the following:
· Hair loss
· Heat or Cold intolerance
· Infertility
· Menstrual changes (irregular or frequent & heavy periods)
· Mental exhaustion
· Palpitations
· Stool flow changes
· Tremors
· Weight increase or weight loss
Difference between Hypothyroidism vs Hyperthyroidism?
Several conditions can cause Hypothyroidism. These are:
· Thyroiditis
o This is a condition when the thyroid gland is inflamed/swollen. This condition causes a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
· Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
o This is hereditary autoimmune condition wherein the body’s cells attack and damage the thyroid gland.
· Postpartum Thyroiditis
o It is generally a transient ailment that affects only 5-9 percent of women who give birth.
· Iodine Deficiency
o Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce the hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland is overactive, thereby releasing high levels of thyroid hormone into the body.
Conditions that can cause Hyperthyroidism are:
· Grave’s Disease
o This is when the whole thyroid gland becomes hyperactive and produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormones. This condition is also called Diffuse Toxic Goiter.
· Thyroiditis
o This disorder can be either painful or not felt at all. Initially, the thyroid releases the hormones that were stored in the gland. This unregulated release of thyroid hormones can continue for a few weeks to months before Hypothyroidism sets in.
· Thyroid nodules
o A nodule is an unusual growth of thyroid cells in the gland. Nodules that are overactive may produce excessive amounts of the hormone that may be released in the body.
Consulting a doctor
There are several diagnostic tests that can be done to diagnose a thyroid disorder. Blood tests can be done to check the thyroid hormones (TSH, FT3 & FT4), presence of thyroid antibodies, Calcitonin and Thyroglobulin. Imaging tests such as ultrasound and thyroid scans are also available.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, therapy can be started.
For Hyperthyroidism, oral medications can be taken to control the palpitations and stop the production of thyroid hormones. Procedures may also be done such as radioactive iodine ablation and surgery.
On the other hand, Hypothyroidism’s main treatment is to replace the thyroid hormone with the help of oral medications. It is also important to have an iodine rich diet such as seaweed or seafood.
For any question on thyroid, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
References :
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Taking care of your children's mental health
Now that Metro Manila is still in the midst of a lockdown due to the pandemic, and have yet to see its imminent end, many of us are already experiencing boredom, loneliness, and exhaustion due to the cancellation of our usual lives. The most prone to this problem, other than adults, are children.
Minors are among those who are severely prohibited from going out during the pandemic. As a result, many of our children are adjusting to significant changes in their surroundings.
Impact on health and social-emotional development
Mental health during a pandemic is one of the things every family member should watch out for. Because of the long confinement of many of us in our homes and the lack of healthy activities, the resistance of many to various types of illness — whether physical or mental — is weakened.
Many Filipino families, mostly of whom are children, have been severely affected by the transition. Parents have been very concerned about their children's learning and their human development. Due to the coronavirus, they study virtually and interact far from each other. Does it affect their social-emotional development? The answer is yes.
At present, mild signs of anxiety, like difficulty in sleeping or concentrating, have been observed more frequently in children. Other behavioral symptoms are also seen more in children lately, such as:
• Children less than 5 years old – thumb sucking, clinging to parents, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, regression in behavior or withdrawal from interaction.
• 5 to 10 years old – irritability, aggressiveness, clinginess, nightmares, poor concentration and withdrawal from activities and friends.
• Adolescents – hyperactivity or fidgeting, eating and sleep disturbances, agitation, increased conflicts, physical complaints, delinquent behavior and poor concentration.
Children's interactions in class and at home will change because the two are almost in the same environment. But even so, there are some things that should be in your children’s mental health tool kits, no matter what kind of education they have. The good news is parents, with the right dedication, can do something to prevent mental health problems in their children.
1. Recognize their need
Mental health and physical health support each other for good overall health. Parents should make sure their children are eating properly and getting enough sleep. It is important to make it a routine of eating, sleeping, and waking up at the same time every day so that their body can get used to this system.
2. Developing their identity
It is essential that a child has established beliefs and morals. Because there are many people with different beliefs and different backgrounds in their education, whether home-school or formal education, it is important for an individual to have a broad mindset and attitude such as compassion.
3. Understanding their different emotions
Controlling one's emotions is another trait that children should learn at home. Their mental wellness will be built on this foundation. If the family focuses on it at home, especially teaching how to comprehend and act on emotions like anger and grief, the family may be very helpful.
Given that children often take their emotional cues from the key adults in their lives, it is also important that the adults manage their own emotions as well.
4. Make your house a secure and happy environment
Keep track of your child's media use, including both the content and the amount of time spent in front of a device. This includes television, movies, internet, and gaming consoles. Keep an eye on who they're connecting with on social media and in online gaming. Engage them in creative activities, this way enabling them to have another outlet in expressing themselves.
Be cautious when addressing major family concerns with your children, such as economics, marital troubles, or illness. These items can cause concern among children
5. Assist children and teenagers in developing self-esteem so they may feel good about themselves
Exhibit a lot of love and acceptance. When they perform well, compliment them. Recognize their efforts as well as their accomplishments. Ask about their hobbies and interests. Help them in setting attainable goals.
6. Open Communication
It is important to be calm and proactive in your conversations with children. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and reach out to a trusted friend or family member.
Whether or not the pandemic puts this bond and connection to the test, in order to help children, parents must ensure that they are by their children's side in times of need. Above all, children should not be the only ones under parental supervision. Parents and guardians should also be careful of themselves, because the difficulty of this period affects more than just young people. We are not, once again, alone. We must be good to ourselves and those around us.
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Consequences of Sleep Deprivation
Many of the consequences of a lack of sleep are well-known, such as being irritable and doing poorly at work. But did you realize that not getting enough sleep might have serious repercussions to your physical health?
Short-term sleep deprivation can impair judgment, mood, capacity to acquire and retain information, and may raise the risk of unintentional errors and accidents.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation has long-term consequences. It depletes your mental abilities and jeopardizes your physical health. Poor sleep has been related to a variety of health issues, ranging from weight gain to a weaker immune system, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system, hormonal abnormalities and even premature death.
With this being said, how much sleep does one person need? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend:
Infant, 4-12 months, 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Toddler, 1-2 years, 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
Pre-School, 3-5 years, 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
School Age, 6-12 years, 9-12 hours per 24 hours
Teen, 13-18 years, 8-10 hours per 24 hours
Adult, 18-64 years, 7-9 hours per night
Older Adult, 65 or more years old, 7-8 hours per night
Sleeping habits that you need to develop in order to avoid sleep deprivation:
1. Consistency is key. Put yourself to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning, including on weekends.
2. Caffeine should be avoided after lunchtime or at least a few hours before night.
3. Reduce alcohol intake
4. Remove all electronic devices from the bedroom, including televisions, laptops, and phones.
5. Get enough exercise. Physical activity throughout the day can make it easier to fall asleep at night.
6. Keep naps short (less than 30 minutes) and not to be done in the late afternoon or at a much later time.
If you're still having trouble sleeping at night and are fatigued throughout the day, you can speak with a Medgate specialist. They can evaluate to see if there are any underlying health issues that are interfering with your sleep.
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Choosing a N.E.W.S.T.A.R.T.
Keys to Prevent Suicide
by Dr Angeli Andrea Cocos-Alcantara, MD
Today, all over the world, people commit suicide for many reasons. It can happen among the young and old, among the poor and wealthy, among the popular and unknown—it can even happen to you and me. Most suicides are related to unhealthy mental status and psychiatric diseases, with depression, substance use disorders and psychosis being the most relevant risk factors. However, to prevent suicide, it is important not only to be healthy mentally, but more so physically, socially and spiritually as well. Here are some key tips to prevent suicide:
To have a healthy mind, you have to have a healthy body. A healthy, well-balanced diet can help us think clearly and improve concentration. Conversely, an inadequate diet can lead to over-fatigue and impaired decision-making.
In one recent study, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet—low in foods with saturated fat and sugar—was found to reduce the risk of depression later in life. Eating more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains was in fact linked to lower risk of depression and even suicide.
Exercise strengthens not only the physical body but the mind as well. A study in university students showed that physical exercise was negatively associated with all measures of mental health problems and suicidality. Physical exercise seems to have such a strong anti-depressant effect (through good chemicals known as endorphins) and reductions in depressive symptoms are linked to reduced suicidal ideation.
Water has been shown to have natural calming properties, likely because of addressing dehydration's effects on the body and brain. Drinking enough water is an important step in managing anxiety and can create feelings of relaxation.
The science behind this is that being dehydrated throws off the dopamine and serotonin balances in the brain, which are natural chemicals that can increase depression and anxiety. One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your mood is by drinking a glass of water.
A study conducted in 2018 demonstrated that people who drank less water had a higher risk of depression and anxiety. On the other hand, individuals who drank a sufficient amount of water daily were more likely to be mentally healthy and happy.
Social Support
It has been established that social support from friends, family and even church groups, is associated with decreased likelihood of a lifetime suicide attempt. In Chinese university students, social support effectively reduced suicide risk via decreasing anxiety and depressive symptoms. From the mental health perspective, families, peers, teachers, and communities should work together to establish a better social support system to reduce suicide numbers. It is a good feeling when we have someone to talk to during our down moments.
True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely the things that are harmful (e.g. drugs, tobacco, alcohol) and to use judiciously that which is good (e.g. food, exercise etc). It is important to practice temperance in all things. A number of recent US surveys have helped shed light on the relationship between alcohol and other drug use and suicidal behavior. Risk factors for suicide include drinking alcohol, smoking, and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Let us try to avoid these harmful things which may cloud our minds into making the right decision.
Sometimes just soaking up some sunshine, and breathing a little fresh air, can provide relief from depression symptoms too. Direct exposure to fresh clean air, conscious and more effective breathing, and specific breathing exercises can help enhance mental health.
Some studies show that even brief, temporary air pollution exposure may be linked to an increased risk for mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia, with damage starting as early as childhood up to adulthood. So let us make sure that we are breathing clean air today!
Long working hours are known to have a negative effect on health. In a recent study in Korea, they are associated with stress, depression, and suicidal ideation in young employees, aged 20 to 35. And, working 49 to 56 hours a week were linked to suicidal thoughts for both genders. According to statistics, work stress such as long hours and job strain is a leading cause of suicide among Americans. Let us make sure that we have adequate rest.
And what better way to rest than to sleep! Studies have shown that improving sleep not only provides immediate relief of sleep-related symptoms (e.g. nightmares), it may also lead to improvements in co-occurring pathology such as depression. Although depression showed the strongest link with suicide, poor sleep quality increased the risk for suicide by 34%. Insomnia or lack of sleep dramatically increases the risk of depression and vice versa and both increase suicide risk. Thus, adequate may reduce this risk.
Trust in a Divine Being
Last but not the last key for preventing suicide is to establish a close relationship with a Divine Being- whether it be God, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, your choice. Life is a complex journey viewed through different lenses by different faith groups. But we can increasingly see the great potential of people of faith to prevent the tragedy of suicide. Faith communities know that practices of faith and spirituality can promote healthy living and provide pathways through human suffering, be it mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical. Studies have shown that religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients and that religious countries (e.g., Philippines) have lower suicide rates.
Our faith to a divine being plays a crucial role in not prematurely taking this sacred gift of life. Faith gives us the blessed hope-knowing that Someone greater than us is in control, that Someone up in the heavens is open to our cries and pleas, and that Someone loves us so much. Trusting Someone higher and greater than all of us will give comfort and peace.
Let us choose to have a N.E.W.S.T.A.R.T today and prevent suicide.
Bernert, RA and Joiner. TE. Sleep disturbances and suicide risk: A review of the literature.
Bjarnason, T. The Influence of Social Support, Suggestion and Depression on Suicidal Behavior Among Icelandic youth.
Bryant, Z. Association of Dietary Intake With Suicidal Ideation or Suicide Attempts in Adolescents.
Chu H, et al. Social Support and Suicide Risk Among Chinese University Students: A Mental Health Perspective.
Dervic, K. et al. Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt.
Haghighatdoost, F. et al. Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study.
Kindelan, K. How diet can affect mental health: The likely link between food and the brain.
Kleiman, EM and Liu, RT. Social support as a protective factor in suicide: Findings from two nationally representative samples
Lifeworks. Mental health benefits of the outdoors.
Park, S. et al. The negative impact of long working hours on mental health in young Korean workers.
Pigeon, WR and Bishop, TM. The Strong Relationship Between Sleep and Suicide.
Sarris, J et al. Harnessing the Four Elements for Mental Health.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center. The role of faith communities in preventing suicide: A report of an Interfaith Suicide Prevention Dialogue.
Yoon, J et al. Relationship between Long Working Hours and Suicidal Thoughts: Nationwide Data from the 4th and 5th Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Williams, S. How Hydration Improves Mental Health.
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Gentle Parenting
by Dena Mae Amor Desabille-Deblois, MD, MPH
Parenthood is one of the most challenging and fulfilling roles in this lifetime. A child is born into the world with sheer innocence and curiosity. John Locke, an English philosopher, proposed the concept of “tabula rasa” that translates to blank slate, where children are molded according to their upbringing. They get their values from their role models and environment. In the first few years of life, these major influences are the immediate family members and the home. We form the foundation of their values, character, hopes, and dreams.
Gentle parenting is a parenting style characterized by mutual trust and respect between parents and their children. It is based on the thought that violence in the form of yelling, spanking, or hitting only passes on the hurt to the next generation. A study by Hoeve et al. (2012) also found a link between poor parental attachment and delinquency in adolescence. Another study in 2013 by Michael et al. found that children who are spanked in childhood have a greater risk of externalizing the same behavior to others.
Parents that practice gentle parenting are in tune with the thoughts and emotions of their children. They create boundaries not to restrict the child, but to ensure safety and guidance. Here are some tips to practice gentle parenting at home:
1. Know that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Therefore, it is important for you to heal from your own hurt, may it be from your own upbringing or from your own environment. The challenges at work should not be brought back home and displaced to the child. A simple trick would be to leave the worries at the door of the house by taking a few deep breaths before entering.
2. Infants are still unable to self-regulate their emotions. They learn the appropriate reactions and responses from their surroundings. They learn appropriate reactions to danger, fear, joy, worry, among others primarily from the people that surround them. Hence, your calm is their calm. They will not be little anymore in a few years, so take time to hug, kiss, and carry them as much as possible.
3. The misbehavior of a child stems from different reasons. For example, item breakages at home come from their exploration and may not be deliberately done. Their thirst for exploration may be satiated by identifying “yes spaces” at home where they can play and explore. The meltdowns and temper tantrums may be due to their immature self-regulation or their need for power. We need to understand early on that we cannot put out fire with fire; misbehavior can be addressed through gentle correction.
4. Communicate and spend time with your children. Research have shown that corporal punishment increases the levels of anxiety among children. They do not necessarily correct behavior, but they make children better at hiding their mistakes. Consider those errors as learning opportunities instead. Communicate tactfully to your child.
May we raise children who will find meaning in their lives. May we give them a childhood that they would not need to recover from.
For any concern regarding the health and well-being of your little one, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
Hoeve, M., Stams, G. J., van der Put, C. E., Dubas, J. S., van der Laan, P. H., & Gerris, J. R. (2012). A meta-analysis of attachment to parents and delinquency. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 40(5), 771–785.
MacKenzie, M.J., Nicklas, E., Waldfogel, J., Brooks-Gunn, J. (2013). Spanking and child development across the first decade of life. Pediatrics, 132(5), e1118-e1125.
Shi, R. “What is Gentle Parenting?” Accessed from on August 25, 2021
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When is the Best Time to Have a Baby?
by Dena Mae Amor Desabille-Deblois, MD, MPH
Only have a child when you are ready, whether you are 19 years old, 28 years old, or 40 years old.
In the Philippines, the expense of having a child has increased significantly, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only the monetary cost of a baby's first year of life, which is conservatively estimated at Php 300,000+, but also the obligations that come with it. As a result, a sexually active couple must have a clear plan in place for their future family. The couple must determine their desired family size, birth spacing, and method/s to achieve their goal. This helps improve the health outcomes for families and their communities.
Keep in mind that the best family planning method is one that is tailored to your own need. Think about your daily routine, relationships, health, and goals. Whatever method you choose, it is critical that you understand and follow the directions. Here are some questions to consider while deciding on a family planning method.
1) How effective is it in preventing pregnancy?
Abstinence from sex is the only way to prevent a pregnancy completely. The most successful methods for a sexually active couple, with a chance of less than one pregnancy per 100 women per year, are the implant and intrauterine device (reversible), as well as bilateral tubal ligation or vasectomy (irreversible). Methods that are moderately effective with the risk of 6 to 12 pregnancies in 100 women in a year are hormonal injectables, pills, patches, rings, and cervical diaphragms; the effectiveness of these methods would require consistent and correct use. On the other hand, methods that are the least effective with the risk of 18 or more pregnancies in 100 women in a year are condoms, withdrawal, fertility awareness-based methods also known as “natural family planning methods”, and spermicide.
2) What are your personalized health concerns?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to family planning. You would need to assess your capacity to adhere to the recommended methods, your pre-existing conditions, and your desired family size. A special example would be a breastfeeding mother who desires to have a child in the next two years after her first-born. She will benefit from lactation amenorrhea on the first 6 months after giving birth, provided that the following conditions have been met: (1) no return of menses after pregnancy and delivery, (2) within 6 months post-partum, and (3) exclusive breastfeeding with intervals of 4 to 6 hours.
3) How much does Family Planning methods cost?
Most of the artificial family planning methods require consistent and correct use to prevent pregnancy. You would need to consider the cost of the method when you use it because your compliance to it will depend on the following: accessibility, availability, affordability, and quality. Natural family planning methods, on one hand, would require the discipline and cooperation of the couple to avoid their fertile window where the woman will most likely get pregnant.
Being a parent is not a one-time commitment. Rather, it is saying “yes” every day to nurturing a life aside from yours. You can never be truly ready physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially for the little one. What you can do is to be willing to learn each dayAs a baby is born, their parents are also born.
For any question on the appropriate family planning method for you, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
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Tuberculosis – What You Should Know
by Maria Theresa R. Termulo, M.D.
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The disease is an airborne infection acquired by breathing in contaminated air droplets coughed or sneezed by a person who has an active TB. The disease primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other organ systems such as lymphatic system, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, urogenital, and the skeletal system.
TB is also highly endemic in the Philippines and is considered a major public health concern. There are about 1 million Filipinos diagnosed with active TB and it is considered the third highest prevalence rate in the world, after South Africa and Lesotho. While it is infectious, it is also preventable and treatable. However, the Philippines is still among the few countries in the world with continually increasing number of TB cases, despite our extensive National Tuberculosis Control Program. This is why it is important that we focus on preventive measures, early recognition of the disease, and adequate treatment to prevent development of drug resistance.
Common symptoms (for patients 15 years old and above) of TB are:
• Bloody sputum (also called hemoptysis)
• Chest pains not referrable to any musculoskeletal disorders
• Chest x-ray findings suggestive of Pulmonary Tuberculosis with or without symptoms
• Cough of, at least, 2 weeks duration
• Easy fatigability (or malaise)
• Fever
• Night sweats
• Significant and unintentional weight loss
• Shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing
• Unexplained cough of any duration in a close contact of a known active TB case
There may also be people who have latent TB infection - patients infected with TB but not developing symptoms of the disease. Many of them will never show signs of the illness, and the bacteria will remain dormant for the rest of their lives. However, in certain people, particularly those who may eventually develop a weak immune system, the bacteria can become active, multiply, and cause TB.
Those at high risk for developing TB disease include:
• Babies and young children
• Elderly
• People living with HIV
• People who are sick with other diseases that weaken the immune system
• People who are not treated correctly for TB in the past
• People who became infected with TB bacteria in the last 2 years
• People who inject illegal drugs
To reduce TB incidence and mortality, the country has a National Tuberculosis Control Program that has a nationwide coverage and targets Presumptive TB and TB affected households. It collaborates with government and non-government agencies to be able to enforce standards on TB care, integrate patient-centered TB services, and facilitate multi-sectoral implementation of TB elimination plan.
People are encouraged to visit and consult with their local health centers for diagnosis and treatment of TB. The usual TB treatment usually involves taking anti-TB medications for a minimum of 6 months and up to 12 months. However, a major health concern is the increasing number of people who were unable to continue with their medications for various reasons. Misuse or disuse of antibiotics can lead to multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which are treated with a second line of antibiotics. Although, there is also a risk that the second line may not be able to cure the disease due to the severity of drug resistance (extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis or XDR-TB). Thus, it is important that people are educated and reminded to complete the TB regimen they were prescribed.
For any question on Tuberculosis, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TB Prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latent TB Infection and Disease.
DOH National Tuberculosis Control Program.
Weiler, Gundo Aurel. It's Time to End TB in the Philippines. March 24, 2019. WHO website.
WHO Consolidated Guidelines on Tuberculosis. Module 1: Prevention:
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Common Myths about Asthma
By: Maria Theresa R. Termulo, MD
Globally, asthma is 28th among the leading causes of burden of disease and is acknowledged as one of the most prevalent chronic respiratory diseases worldwide. In 2016, there were 339.4 million people worldwide affected by asthma based on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study.
In the Philippines, the overall prevalence of asthma (either self-reported or doctor-diagnosed) is estimated at 8.7%. This translates to 1 out of 11 Filipino adults being diagnosed with asthma, with males being reported as having higher prevalence compared to females. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data in 2017, there are 13,186 deaths attributed to asthma or 2.13% of total deaths. In age- adjusted death rate due to asthma, the Philippines rank number 15 in the whole world and, in the low to middle-income countries, the Philippines rank number 2.
Asthma, indeed, is common. Yet, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about it. The misinformation only contributes to lack of awareness and hesitancy in seeking medical treatment for a chronic disease that is controllable and can potentially be fatal, if not treated adequately.
So, what are these misconceptions and myths about asthma?
1) A person who is frequently coughing has asthma
Asthma is diagnosed based on the identification of a characteristic pattern of respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness or cough. The probability of a diagnosis of asthma increases when symptoms are more than one, worse at night or early morning, vary in intensity over time, and triggered by certain factors like exercise, changes in weather, laughter, smoke or strong scents, and respiratory infections. Personal history of allergies like eczema or allergic rhinitis and or a family history of asthma or allergies also increase the probability of having asthma.
Doctors may use spirometry, peak flow diaries and bronchial provocation to establish a clinical diagnosis of asthma. Wheezing that occurs during expiration (or when you let out breath) is the most frequent finding for asthma.
While allergies are different from an asthma attack, allergens or triggers of allergic attacks may also trigger an asthma attack.
2) Asthma is just a childhood disease and can be outgrown once a patient reaches adulthood.
In the Philippines, asthma affects over 6 million children. Some children’s asthmas will eventually go in remission or disappear, only to return years later, during adulthood. There is no cure for asthma. However, for most, asthma can be controlled with appropriate treatment and management.
One important factor in adult-onset asthma is smoking. Asthmatic smokers are also at risk of developing more severe symptoms, higher frequency of exacerbations and worse quality of life compared to asthmatic non-smokers. There are also studies that show long-term exposures to air pollutants,especially traffic - related air pollution,can contribute to new- onset asthma in both children and adults.
3) Asthma is treated only when patient exhibits symptoms
While there are patients whose asthma symptoms are mild and would only necessitate rescue doses of bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids, there are patients who have moderate to severe asthma symptoms that require control with daily low- to medium-dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists. It is important that patients are followed-up regularly for personalized and timely adjustment of asthma medications.
4) Medications used to treat asthma have steroids that are harmful and have too many side effects.
Inhaled corticosteroids are part of the management of asthma, depending on the severity of symptoms. Patients who have moderate to severe symptoms of asthma would usually need daily doses of inhaled corticosteroids to control their symptoms, which lead many people to think that taking corticosteroids long-term can bring about unwanted side effects. While that steroids can cause side effects such as weight gain, bruising, elevation of blood sugar, and heartburn, inhaled corticosteroids usually have less amount of dosage compared to orally taken steroids. Under the supervision of a physician, the use of inhaled corticosteroids is safe and very effective for proper asthma control.
5) Asthmatic patients cannot receive COVID-19 vaccines
Overall, patients with well-controlled asthma are not at increased risk of COVID-19 related deaths. However, the risk of COVID-19 related death was increased in people who recently needed oral corticosteroids to be able to control their asthma or those hospitalized patients with severe exacerbations of asthma. Due to these risks, it is important, more than ever, to control asthma symptoms adequately and for patients with well-controlled asthma to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Asthma is a long-term condition affecting both children and adults. If under-diagnosed and under-treated, there will be significant impact on daily life, particularly in patients belonging to low and middle-income countries. Asthma patients may miss school and work, with financial impact on the family and the general community. They may also need hospital admission for treatment and monitoring. In most severe cases, asthma can also lead to death. And in the time of a pandemic, it is more important than ever that asthma will be diagnosed and treated timely and adequately.
Recognition of symptoms, close follow-up with physicians, and preventive measures, including vaccination against immediate threats like COVID-19 and flu, will help keep asthma exacerbations at bay and maintain a good quality of life. For any question on asthma, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
Global Initiative for Asthma Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention 2021.
Linda L. Varona, M.D., et al. Prevalence of Asthma Among Filipino Adults Based on the National Nutrition and Health Survey (NNHES). Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine. 2014: Volume 52 Number 4.
Philippine Consensus Report on Asthma Diagnosis and Management 2019
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Common Myths about Breastfeeding
by Dr Dena Mae Amor Desabille-Deblois
Breastfeeding is natural, yet it is not easy. It is a mix of breastfeeding, dedication, and an enabling environment for the mother and her baby. This liquid gold has well-established benefits and being aware of them will empower a woman who intends to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is also associated with a plethora of anecdotes and views that are handed on from one well-meaning neighbor to another. Let us discuss at some of the most common beliefs and talk about the scientific evidence behind them.
Myth #1: Breastmilk is supposed to flow like a fountain as soon as a woman gives birth.
Fact: A woman who has just given birth produces Colostrum. It is a kind of breastmilk with a distinct look, volume, and content. It is a sticky, yellowish fluid that is rich in nutrients, immune cells, and growth factors for the newborn. It is available in tiny quantities and corresponds to the size of the baby's stomach early in life, which is just the size of a cherry or a small kalamansi.
Is mama capable of producing milk since day 1? Without a doubt. Colostrum is breastmilk.
Myth #2: The newborn is crying; they must not be getting enough breastmilk.
Fact: Newborns cry a lot. Imagine getting out of the warm, quiet, and comfortable womb into the cold, harsh, and noisy world; I would be crying too. Rather than jumping into the conclusion that the baby is not getting enough milk, check other possible reasons: soiled nappies, colic, body temperature, in pain, or sleepy, among other possible reasons.
The baby is expected to breastfeed for more than eight times within a 24-hour period. An indicator of a well-fed baby early in their life is in their diapers; “ is the baby pooping and peeing as expected ? ” There are infographics containing this information depending on the baby's age. Mama's breasts will also feel soft after a good breastfeeding session.
Myth #3: The mother's left breast is rice while the right breast is viand for the baby.
Fact: The baby only consumes milk from both breasts. It is neither rice nor a viand. Breastmilk is tailored to the infant's requirements since it contains antibodies, proteins, fats, water, growth factors, probiotics, and minerals. Aside from that, breastmilk ingested directly by the infant during a feed does not get stale or becomes spoiled. Mama's body produces milk that is optimal for her baby's nutritional needs at the time.
Myth #4: Only large breasts can produce milk.
Fact: The fat content of a woman's bosom is mostly responsible for her large breasts. The mammary glands generate breastmilk. Milk-wise, a breast size of 32A and 36D can both be an over supplier or an under supplier. Breastmilk production is a result of the woman's hormones, the baby's stimulation while feeding, and their natural physiology. However, there is a small percentage of women who have inadequate glandular tissue which experiences challenges in breastfeeding.
Myth #5: A mother should stop nursing her child when she is not feeling well.
Fact: Mothers should continue to breastfeed their infants even if they are sick with such as the common cold, urinary tract infection, and even COVID-19. Babies will not catch the virus via breastfeeding, but they will benefit from the antibodies that are carried along the breastmilk. It goes without saying that standard health protocols such as mask wearing, adequate personal hygiene, and handwashing must be always observed.
July marks the nutrition month celebration in the Philippines. Let us give our children a head start on proper nutrition through breastfeeding. For any question on breastfeeding, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
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Is Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) real?
Menstruation, often known as a period, is a monthly cycle that women go through. The uterine lining degrades and exits the body through the vaginal canal. The reproductive system and other organs are affected in a variety of ways.
What is Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
PMS is a series of emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms that occur after a woman's ovulation and usually begins 7 to 10 days before the period starts and continues for the first few days of the period. Irritability, depression, crying, oversensitivity, and mood changes are the most common mood-related symptoms. This can be caused by an excess level of estrogen and progesterone.
Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), also known as Late Luteal Phase Dysphoric Disorder, is a more severe type of PMS that affects a smaller number of women and causes significant loss of function due to exceptionally strong symptoms.
PMDD affects between three to eight percent of women, and it is linked to the menstrual cycle, just like PMS. PMDD symptoms are like PMS symptoms, with the exception that women with PMDD may have more dysphoric (depressive) symptoms and more severe symptoms. In fact, symptoms must be severe enough to interrupt a woman's daily function in order to be diagnosed with PMDD.
What are the symptoms and indicators of PMS?
PMS has been linked to a wide range of symptoms. PMS can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the woman's cycle. The most frequent mood-related symptoms of PMS include;
• Anger and irritability
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Emotional outbursts
• Oversensitivity
• Sadness
• Tension
The following are the most common physical indications and symptoms of PMS:
• Abdominal bloating
• Abdominal pain
• Acne
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Sore breasts
Is PMS real?
Yes, PMS is real. Exactly what causes premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but several factors may contribute to the condition. Many studies believe it has something to do with a change in sex hormone and serotonin levels (brain chemical that plays a crucial role in a person’s mood states) at the start of the menstrual cycle. Ovarian steroids also affect the activity of brain areas linked to premenstrual symptoms.
Consult with your doctor
Schedule an appointment with our doctor if physical pain, mood changes, or other symptoms don’t go away and starts to interfere with your everyday life. Many of the symptoms of PMS improve with treatment. Treatment options include vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal treatments, and exercise, as well as pharmaceutical therapy, birth control pills, diet and exercise, pharmaceutical therapies (NSAIDs for pain; Diuretics for the weight gain & bloating; Anti-depressants for those with severe PMS or PMDD to reduce the mood symptoms) and hormonal contraceptives.
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Difference between Colds vs. Allergic Rhinitis
You're coughing, sneezing, your nose is stuffy, you're suffering from nasal congestion, and there's a lot more. What would you do in this situation? Right! You rely on Dr. Internet, self-medicate, sleep, and pray that everything will be well tomorrow. That's a hit-or-miss situation.
It's probable that you have seasonal allergies if you frequently experience “colds” that come on unexpectedly and at the same time every year. Despite the fact that colds and seasonal allergies overlap similar symptoms, they are two very different diseases.
What is a cold?
There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold. However, Rhinoviruses is the most common causative agent. These viruses spread from person to person through air droplets and close personal contact.
Most people recover in about 7 to 10 days. But some symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose and cough can last up to 10 to 14 days. Any more than that, your cold virus may have sparked or caused a more serious infection — usually a bacterial infection.
How to prevent colds?
Handwashing should be done frequently and correctly. Disinfect communal areas or equipment, particularly if someone in your living or working environment has a cold. Avoid sharing straws, drinking glasses, spoons, forks, or anything else that could spread the cold virus. When sneezing, use disposable wipes or tissues and discard them right away. Eat well, and exercise regularly.
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
It's a fantastic thing that we all have immune systems. It defends us against hazardous organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that could make us sick. In other cases, however, our immune system reacts negatively to allergens, which are external or internal stimuli. When this happens, our bodies create histamines, which are the substances that trigger allergy symptoms.
Many of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and colds are similar, which is why people are frequently unsure whether they have colds or allergic rhinitis. Here are a few things that are in common.
• Sneezing
• Coughing
• Sore throat
• Runny nose
• Nasal congestion
• Watery eyes
How can allergic rhinitis be avoided?
Allergic rhinitis is triggered by inhaling known allergens. The most common airborne allergens are pollens, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander (fur, skin, saliva and urine of pets) and dust. Rhinitis can also be triggered by air pollution, aerosol sprays, strong scents, cold temperatures, humidity and smoke.
Avoidance of your known triggers would help in controlling the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
The following can be done:
• Keep windows closed specially during high-pollen seasons
• Hand washing after petting animals
• Use dust and mite proof bedding and mattress covers
• Showering before going to bed to wash of allergens from the hair and skin
How can you know if you have allergic rhinitis or a cold?
Because colds and allergic rhinitis have many of the same symptoms, it's vital to get to know the ones that are specific to each ailment. Colds are more likely to cause aches and pains, as well as a fever and a sore throat. Allergies are prone to cause rashes on the skin, itchy eyes, and wheezing. On the other hand, allergic rhinitis presents with frequent sneezing, itchy eyes, swelling of the upper eyelids and wheezing.
You could also consider the season. Although colds can occur during the summer, they are more common during the rainy season, when viruses thrive and reproduce. The duration of symptoms is another way to distinguish colds from allergies. Colds normally last a few days to a week, but allergies would persist for weeks or months until the allergen is removed, or you receive specialist treatment.
If you’re having a hard time distinguishing between having a cold or an allergy, you may consider visiting your doctor for a check-up. To limit your risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, you may also consult with specialist doctors with Medgate and have your consultation right at the comfort of your own home.
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Deworming 101
Deworming is the removal of worms in a person’s intestines by taking medicine. Infections from various worms are common and easily spread. However, it is difficult to know how widespread these infections are because they are often asymptomatic and often not seen right away.
Importance of Deworming
Children need to be dewormed because they are at high risk of developing worm infections. Some of the ways for the parasite to enter their bodies are through:
• Walking barefoot
o If the ground or lawn is trampled on is infected with any type of worms, this moist environment is possibly a place where parasites lay eggs.
• Contaminated water
o It may be by drinking water from sources that are not guaranteed to be clean from intestinal worms. This also includes floodwaters and wells.
• Food
o One can get infected with worms through unclean and uncooked food that comes in contact with dirty fingers or flies, or contaminated fields or fluids.
• Infected animals
o Pets such as dogs, cattle, chickens, and even fish are carriers of helminth infections.
• Poor hygiene
o By not washing hands before and after eating or after defecating, parasites can be contracted especially if the child comes out of the toilet. The eggs of the worms' crawl on the sides and bottom of the nails and, as a result, tend to pass them on to playmates and other people.
What are the symptoms of a child with stomach worms?
Often, a worm infection shows no symptoms, or the symptoms can be very small and gradual before they are noticed. Depending on the type of worm and the severity of the infection, a child with worms may have some common signs or symptoms. If your child has any of these, take him or her to the doctor right away:
• Abdominal pain
• Weight loss
• Poisoning
• Anemia
• No appetite
• Itching or pain around the buttocks
• Low IQ
• Cough
If left untreated, worms can cause malnutrition and affect a child's learning. Aside from noticing the initial symptoms of a worm-borne infection, it can help if children undergo a check-up. A pediatrician or specialist can diagnose helminth infection using the following methods:
• Stool exam
o Take a sample of the child's stool to find out if he or she has worms in his or her intestines.
• Checking nails
o Signs of parasite presence in the body can be seen on the bottom and sides of the nails because they often leave eggs in such parts.
• Sticky tape test
o The doctor will place a piece of tape on the child's stool to get worm eggs, if any. After that, the laboratory will examine the tape to see if the child has worms in the body.
• Ultrasound
o For severe cases of infection due to worms, this requires more in -depth observation. There is a chance that the parasites have spread to other parts of the organs such as the lungs and stomach, due to non-immediate purging.
Depending on the type of worm infection your child has, there are anthelmintic drugs or anti-worm medications that a doctor may prescribe to prevent the spread of worms. It has syrup and pills suitable for the age of children. Some of these are: Pyrantel, Zentel, Mebendazole.
Albendazole or Mebendazole - these medications are generally safe for children to take. Adverse reactions are rare, often due to dead worms in the person’s body. If ever this reaction happens, it is often minor (ex: headache, nausea, and abdominal discomfort) and can be safely managed at home with rest.
Deworming twice yearly is advocated for children (from 1 year-old) even if they are well. Children can easily be infected and re-infected. Aside from killing the worms, the medications can also get rid of the eggs, which puts a break in the helminth cycle spread.
Eradicating parasitism and intestinal worms will have a great impact on the general wellness and nutrition of children.
Check regularly with your child’s Pediatrician, so you can be guided appropriately in deworming your kids.
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Essential Nutrition for the Family
Healthy nutrition is an important part of having a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, and promote your overall health.
Unhealthy eating habits are one of the major reasons of poor nutrition. Even in people with a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that will cause illness or death. Some of these diseases are heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer. You can help protect yourself from these health problems through smart food choices.
There are many types of essential nutrients but they are only divided into two categories, these are: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are those eaten in large amounts and are included in the basic needs of the diet or food to provide energy to the body such as Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats.
Micronutrients are what the body needs in small doses such as vitamins and minerals. There are six main groups of essential macronutrients and micronutrients, these are: Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.
1. Fats
The primary function of fats in the body is to provide long-term energy, insulation and protection. Fats support other body functions such as vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement. Fats are high in calories but are necessary because they are an important energy source for the body. 30% of daily calories should come from fats.
2. Vitamins
Vitamins are important for health and resistance to disease. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs. These are: Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). Each vitamin plays an important role in the body, so when you do not take it, you can have health problems and illness.
3. Minerals
Like vitamins, minerals help to support the body. Its main function is to build strong bones and teeth, regulate metabolism, and also help stay properly hydrated. Some of the common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc.
4. Protein
Protein is necessary for good health because it provides the building blocks of the body, not just muscles. Every cell, from bone, to skin and hair, all has protein. Proteins are made up of various amino acids. Although the body can make some amino acids, many essential amino acids can only come from food. For your body to function properly, you need different types of amino acids. You don’t have to eat all the protein all at once, you can complete the required protein throughout the day.
5. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body. It fuels your body, especially the central nervous system and the brain. Carbohydrates should be at 45 to 65% of your total daily calories.
6. Water
The body needs a large amount of water, but water is a micronutrient because it does not contain energy. The function of water is to dissolve and carry nutrients throughout the body, remove waste from the body, and regulate body temperature. You can also get water in vegetables and fruits like watermelon and spinach. You will know you are dehydrated if your urine is dark yellow. Drink the right amount of water and eat nutritious fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated.
July is marked to be the nutrition month and let us take advantage to educate ourselves and our loved ones about having a healthy lifestyle. For any questions about nutrition, you can Call Doc, Anywhere, Anytime, with Medgate.
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COVID-19: The upside of vaccine to eradicate the disease
Vaccines are products that work with our body’s natural defenses to produce immunity against a specific disease. After vaccination, the immune system learns and remembers how to fight that bacteria or virus, thereby reducing a person’s risk from acquiring the disease.
Vaccines against whooping cough (1914), diphtheria (1926), tetanus (1938), influenza (1945), and mumps were developed as a result of scientific discoveries in the first half of the twentieth century (1948). Vaccines against polio (1955), measles (1963), rubella (1969), and other viruses were added to the list during the following decades, and global immunization rates skyrocketed thanks to successful global health campaigns. In 1980, the world was declared smallpox-free, the first of many major vaccination successes, but other infectious diseases remained a challenge but lowered the number of cases.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
When a person acquires an infection, our immune system recognizes the foreign virus, which will activate our immune cells to get into action. The immune cells need several hours or days to make an effective attack. These cells know how to get rid of the virus. After the infection, the immune system now remembers and knows how to kill the virus if the body encounters it again.
There are different types of COVID-19 vaccines, to name a few, mRNA vaccines (Pfizer BioNTech & Moderna), Protein subunit vaccines (Novavax) and Vector vaccines (Oxford AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Sputnik). Each has a different mechanism on how the immune response is triggered. But all share the same end point of making our immune system remember how to fight the virus causing COVID-19.
Vaccination is not just for self-protection; it also has a huge impact on the community. Once a person is vaccinated, his or her resistance to COVID-19 is strong. Unfortunately, not everyone can be vaccinated against it, specifically children under 12 years old as there are still ongoing trials for this.
To protect such members of society, it is best if the people around them are vaccinated. When many are immune to SARS-CoV-2, it is difficult for the virus to circulate, so its transmission decreases.
In conjunction with the current widespread COVID-19 immunization in the Philippines, we can maintain a strong immune system by:
1. Getting enough sleep and managing your stress
2. Having a healthy lifestyle - Exercise, active life, improving the living environment in harmony with nature helps the body to stay healthy and increase resistance.
3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - having a healthy diet will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs.
4. Get enough sunlight - Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. When spending prolonged time in the hot sun, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
5. Avoid tobacco smoke - it undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.
6. Limit alcohol intake - excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.
7. Start eating mushrooms - One of the healthiest foods on the planet, mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients and minerals.
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How to take care of our eyes and avoid bad eye habits
Having good vision or eyesight is an important thing that is sometimes overlooked by others. Some of the eye problems can be hereditary or inherited but we also have habitual activities that can cause infections or serious eye problems. The best thing to do is find out the effects of these habits and be sure to change to maintain good eye condition.
Here are some bad habits that can affect eye health:
1. Staring long at gadgets, computers, and TV screens
Prolonged staring at cell phones, tablets, computers, and TVs has a detrimental effect on our eyes. Often, the eyes do not relax or close their eyes when reading or watching shows, so the eyes do not get enough lubrication, which can cause dry eyes.
2. Touching or rubbing the eye
Excessive rubbing of the eyes can cause relentless itching especially during allergy season. If you have allergies, you can use a cool compress because this habit can carry bacteria in the eyes. Be sure to avoid warm compresses because it can add more to the itching of the eyes.
3. Sleeping while wearing contact lens
Wearing contact lenses while sleeping prevents the eyes from getting enough oxygen and sometimes leads to infection. Eye infections are especially dangerous if left untreated because they can cause permanent damage.
4. Not eating nutritious food
It is necessary to take care of the eyes by eating food which are rich in vitamins and minerals such as green vegetables, fruits, and fish such as salmon. Exercise is also a good combination to strengthen the resistance to fight diseases. Drinking enough water every day can help hydration and tear production of the eyes.
Don't wait for our eyesight to weaken. Perfect vision or not, avoid the problem with these simple eye care tips:
1. Eat foods rich in vitamins
Vitamin A is important for eye health. It is not enough to just eat rich food. We should find out what foods are rich in Vitamin A. These include dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, horseradish, broccoli; the yellow and colorful vegetables such as pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, and tomato; and seafood such as fish, clams, and mussels.
2. Rest your eyes
We abuse our eyes when we read in the dark or low light, or in a moving vehicle. Rest your eyes often. Close your eyes for a few minutes. If computer use is included in your daily work,make it a habit to take breaks from time to time.Look away from the screen for about 20 minutes at a break. Use an anti - glare screen if necessary.Don't park in front of the screen and stare at it all day. Stand in the chair and take a walk somewhere else before returning to the seat. Stretch legs and arms.
For parents: Don’t let your kids soak in front of computers or gadgets all day. It is not good for the eyes and overall health of children. Give them a limit on the time they can use the computer or play video games.
3. Have a regular eye exam
Regardless of age, with or without eye disease, everyone should see an eye doctor. Eye diseases can start at any age and it is better to get checked up once or twice a year. Like other diseases, eye diseases are easier to treat when treated early. Glaucoma, for example, may be asymptomatic. Only an eye exam can detect him.
There are two types of doctors who can look into our eyes, depending on the need. The ophthalmologist is consulted for overall eye care. He performs a comprehensive eye exam, recommends treatment, and performs eye surgery. The optometrist is not a medical doctor, but a health professional who performs a basic eye exam and vision test, and prescribes glasses or corrective lenses to improve eyesight.
Because our eyes are delicate, they should not be abused or neglected. As long as we live, we will need it. Most eye diseases are irreversible or irreversible to former health. So, while our eyesight is still good, follow these simple eye care tips for good and long-lasting health of our eyes.
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What effect does your sleep have on your health
Sleep is a vital activity that the body requires in order to function properly. This is a condition in which the functioning of certain body systems slows or stops, with only a few of the most important systems remaining operational, such as breathing and blood flow.
The advantages of adequate sleep affect various aspects of each person's daily life. Although there is no debate about the importance of getting enough sleep, many people are unaware of how many hours of sleep they require or why it is so important.
The amount of sleep a person requires is determined by a variety of factors, including their age.
• Infants (ages 0-3 months) need 14-17 hours a day.
• Infants (ages 4-12 months) need 12-16 hours a day.
• Toddlers (ages 1-2 years) need about 11-14 hours a day.
• Preschool children (ages 3-5) need 10-13 hours a day.
• School-age children (ages 6-12) need 9-12 hours a day.
• Teenagers (ages 13-18) need about 8-10 hours each day.
• Most adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day, though some may require as little as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours.
• Older adults (ages 65 and older) need 7-8 hours of sleep each day.
• Women in their first three months of pregnancy frequently require several extra hours of sleep than usual.
Getting enough sleep can help maintain the mind healthy and the body's systems running smoothly, however, a lack of sleep can have a significant impact on everyday activities and even be harmful one's health.
What effect does your sleep have on your health?
1. Healthy thoughts and emotions
Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to interact socially and understand people’s emotions. A person who gets enough sleep has a healthy mind and become more alert to tasks, make quick decisions, and learn new things faster. These items, we know, are critical to each person's productivity in their daily lives, whether at work or at school.
2. Helps the body repair Itself
Sleep is a time to relax, but it's also a time for the body to repair damage caused by stress, UV rays, and other forms of hazardous exposure. Deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that promote healthy growth, increase in muscle mass, regulate puberty and fertility, and repair cells and tissues.
3. Stronger body resistance
Adequate sleep is also associated with stronger body resistance as there is a peak of important components of the immune system during this time. If you get enough and at the proper time, your immune system can effectively defend against infections that cause disease.
4. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Blood pressure is usually reduced during sleep. Thus, lack of sleep can predispose one to worsened Hypertension, heart disease (Coronary Heart Disease) and stroke.
5. Enhances memory
Deep sleep is a critical time for your brain to form memories. During the 3rd stage of non-rapid eye movement stage of your sleep, the brain organizes and consolidates memories. Then at the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, these memories are cemented. Lack of sleep will affect one's ability to remember important details.
The overall health and functioning of certain organs such as the heart, blood, liver, and kidneys are still linked to each individual's adequate sleep. If you do not get enough sleep each day, you are more likely to develop diseases such as stroke, heart attack, kidney and liver problems, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make sure to get enough sleep to stay healthy!
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Dengue Prevention tips during this rainy season
Everyone can contract a variety of ailments during the rainy season, including colds, coughs, and fevers. Dengue fever is one of the most serious infections during the rainy season.Since 1998 June has been designated as Dengue Awareness Month(Proclamation No. 1204) to emphasize the need of collaboration between national and local government agencies, as well as private NGOs, in the prevention and control of dengue.
What is Dengue?
Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease that is contracted from the bite of a mosquito or mosquito that has the dengue virus.
The virus can cause fever, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. Symptoms may include:
• Sudden high fever
• Headache
• Pain in the back of the eye
• Fatigue or weakness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Skin rash (appears two to five days after having a fever)
• Mild bleeding (nose bleeding or gum bleeding)
Sometimes, symptoms can be mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Symptoms of dengue fever are generally mild in younger children and those who have the disease for the first time. However, serious problems can develop
How to prevent dengue?
1. Use of personal protection
Mosquito repellents such as citronella or mosquito lotions can help you avoid mosquito bites. In addition, wearing clothing that would minimize skin exposure is advised (long-sleeves, shirts and pants).
2. Make sure there is no stagnant water in the home
Because it is raining, it is possible that there is accumulated water around the house. Make sure that any drums, plant pots, or other containers that can hold rainwater are drained or covered, as this might serve as a mosquito breeding ground.
3. Check screen doors and windows for holes
In addition to closing the door and window to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house, it is vital to inspect it for gaps that could allow mosquitoes to enter. If a hole exists, seal it or cover it to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.
The Department of Health (DOH) has launched the 4-S campaign which stands for Search & destroy mosquito breeding sites; secure Self-protection measures; Seek early consultation; and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas. It calls for everyone to become prime movers in controlling the mosquito population which will eventually put a stop in the burden of disease that Dengue may bring about.
Controlling and preventing dengue fever are essential steps for keeping people healthy. Know the symptoms of Dengue by asking specialist doctors from Medgate, anywhere, anytime.
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Prostate 101: When Should I See a Doctor?
Many individuals are unaware of what the prostate is, its function, and when to seek medical attention if they suspect they have a problem. As a result, information is the most powerful weapon you have in dealing with this aspect of men's health.
What is Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland at the bottom of the bladder that covers the urethra (urinary tract). As a male age, his prostate grows larger. It generates fluid that accounts for at least 30% of semen. This fluid, which includes citric acid, calcium, and enzymes, enhances the motility or swimming ability of sperm cells as well as their capacity to proliferate.
Diseases that the Prostate Gland can contract:
1. Prostatitis
Prostatitis, or prostate inflammation, can cause fever, trouble urinating, and bladder discomfort. A male may be unable to urinate if his prostate is large. The patient's irritation during urinating is one of the key signs of the condition.
2. Prostate Enlargement
Prostate enlargement, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), is the expansion of the prostate gland in males. Prostate enlargement is common and is present in about half of men between 51 – 60 years-old. As the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra (the connection between the urinary bladder to the penis), causing urinary retention and difficulty in urinating.
3. Prostate Cancer
Cancer is a disease that is caused by abnormal cell growth in our bodies. Cancer cells may form in almost any region of the body that has cells, and they can spread to other sections of the body. Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate glands grows abnormally. Men aged 55 years old and older are recommended to undergo regular screening through a digital rectal examination at the doctor’s clinic and a blood test called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).
Symptoms that may indicate that you have prostate disease:
• Painful urination
• Frequent urination
• Difficulty holding back urine
• Unable to urinate
• Presence of blood in urine
• Waking up at night to pee
• Poor urine flow
• Pain or stiffness of the lower back, hips, pelvis or thighs
Consult with a Doctor:
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing signs of prostate disease so that you can receive the proper treatment. Speak with your doctor about what you may do to reduce your chances of having prostate disease.
Furthermore, as you age, it is necessary to visit the doctor for a prostate checkup once a year.
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What is hypertension?
When the heart beats, it creates a pressure that pushes blood through a network of blood vessels. This pressure is known as Blood Pressure. The normal blood pressure for an individual is 120/80 mmHg. Hypertension or High Blood pressure happens when there is persistently elevated pressure in the blood vessels. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities When hypertension persists, strong blood force can damage the arteries and affect the heart rate. This can cause serious complications such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
Types of Hypertension
• Primary Hypertension - tends to develop gradually over time. There is no identifiable cause of the high blood pressure.
• Secondary hypertension - appears suddenly and is due to underlying conditions or medications (ex: Kidney disease, Thyroid problems, birth control pills, decongestants).
Causes of Hypertension
Researchers have not yet discovered the exact cause of hypertension but the disease is often rooted in these:
• Excessive consumption of salty foods
• Smoking and drinking alcohol
• Lack of calcium, magnesium, and potassium
• Being overweight and lack of exercise
• Stress and anxiety
• Genetics
• Age (risk increases as one ages)
Symptoms of Hypertension
Most people with Hypertension have no signs or symptoms, hence its often referred to as the “silent killer.” Symptoms are usually felt when the illness is severe. The only one way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have a medical professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. As individuals, you can purchase a blood pressure monitor to help you monitor yours.
• Frequent fatigue
• Headache
• Chest pain
• Blurred vision
• Difficulty in breathing
• Irregular heartbeat
Having a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet is the most effective weapon against high blood pressure. To avoid this condition, practice the following:
• Do not eat too much salty food. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends to reduce the intake to under 5g to help decrease the risk of hypertension and other related health problems.
• Lose weight. Weight reduction causes a drop in blood pressure because the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood around the body. Be physically active. Moderate-intensity exercise (ex: brisk walking, bicycling) at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week is recommended.
• Limit alcohol consumption. Blood pressure can increase by moderate to heavy alcohol intake. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that males have no more than two alcoholic drinks per day, while women have no more than one. One drink would consist of the following:
o a 12-ounce (oz) bottle of beer
o 4 oz of wine
o 1.5 oz of 80-proof spirits
o 1 oz of 100-proof spirits
• Quit or avoid smoking. Nicotine increases your blood pressure and heart rate, narrows and hardens your arteries, and makes your blood more prone to clotting.
• Avoid extreme fatigue and stress. Blood pressure may be controlled by avoiding or learning how to handle stress.
• Participate in relaxing activities such as meditation. Relaxation activities such as meditation, warm baths, yoga, and just taking long walks can help reduce stress will help control your blood pressure.
Early intervention is key to prevention. Consult your doctor for professional medical advise for any of your health concerns.
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How the COVID-19 pandemic changed the health and consultation landscape
Healthcare professionals weigh in on the importance of telemedicine in strengthening our healthcare systems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 2021 to be the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW) in appreciation and gratitude for their dedication in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Under a shared vision of “Health for All”, the WHO campaign aims to highlight the importance of investing in healthcare workers and ensuring appropriate protection and conditions of work.
In the Philippines, the fight continues against COVID-19. In our current situation, the challenge of managing the daily rise in cases falls on our existing healthcare systems and the professionals tasked with keeping those systems in check. While the onset of the pandemic may have highlighted some areas for improvement in terms of the allocation and distribution of local healthcare resources, COVID-19 also served as a catalyst to highlight important developments to provide Filipinos with improved access to quality healthcare and treatment solutions.
For both professionals and patients, the pandemic made telehealth a more viable option to give and receive medical care. The sudden shift to telehealth has helped disprove a longstanding assumption about the platform – that telehealth addresses health concerns even remotely. However, with local restrictions on travel and movement still in place, patients have realized the ease and convenience of being able to see a doctor without having to travel, stay in a waiting room and risk exposure to germs or any illnesses. On the other hand, through telemedicine, doctors can see more patients in a day and healthcare institutions can allocate more manpower and resources towards bringing the fight to COVID-19. As systems continue to develop, for non-emergency situations, telehealth looks to be more of a main option for patients looking for treatment instead of a mere alternative.
“Bridging the gap between the Haves and Have-nots, all Filipinos can have equal access to quality medical care through telemedicine. Medgate treats 80% of cases telemedically. This means, patients will no longer need to consult with a doctor face-to-face. We will be able to cater to more patients if infrastructure will be upgraded where Filipinos have access to a strong telecommunication signal.” Dra. Arlene Claudio, Medgate Philippines Medical Director
Local developments in the field of telehealth have come with the ongoing shift towards digitalization across the world. As access to the internet has become more accessible, more and more Filipinos are now online. With smartphone users across the country growing in number each year, the continued digitization of healthcare is important to break the geographical barriers that impede access to quality healthcare in the country.
With innovative healthcare made easy as our mission, our tele-treatment program is equipped to provide care that comforts. Last year, we saw our teleconsultations increase by 170%. By understanding developments in both the current local healthcare landscape, and the behavior of Filipinos in digital spaces, we continue to streamline our services to solve patient concerns more efficiently, wherever our patients may be, and whatever time they find themselves in need.
“Telemedicine is a valuable tool in decongesting our hospitals for the much needed tertiary care to critically ill patients needing them. Out-patient, non-emergency cases can easily be and safely handled telemedically, protecting patients from exposure to more deadly infections, and also discouraging people to self medicate that might worsen their existing medical condition”, Dra. Claudio added.
Both in terms of care and knowledge sharing, quickly adapting to technology solutions was an important part of our healthcare system’s response to COVID-19. However, as technology continues to evolve, the ways we provide and enable access to healthcare must change with the times as well. While the pandemic may have created a shift towards the use of telehealth, ongoing efforts must be made to further integrate telehealth with our existing healthcare systems – working together to improve the system as a whole, and to provide care for more Filipinos across the country.
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How to keep your home disinfected
For the healthier body of each family member, everyone’s goal should be to keep the whole house clean with the help of proper hygiene and sanitation. Often, viral infections such as coughs, colds, and flu are transmitted not outside the home but right inside, caused by an unsanitary environment. It can also be taken outside, then cling to the hands, clothes, shoes, and belongings of the occupants.
There are simple ways we can prevent our family from diseases, and from the spread of germs within our own homes. Use warm water, soap, and a clean rag to remove dirt and germs. Cleaning agents and disinfectants can also be used for faster and more efficient cleaning. Mixing three tablespoons of bleach in a gallon of water is also effective as an alternative.
Living room
• Sweep and mop the floor daily.
• Wipe and dust appliances and other equipment
• Avoid putting shoes indoors.
• Before preparing or cooking food, wipe the area around the stove, sink, and kitchen counter thoroughly so that no dirt mixes with your serving.
• Wash cooking utensils such as pans, spoons, knives, and chopping boards thoroughly. Also make sure to properly clean the ingredients to avoid food-borne diseases.
• Make it a habit to wash used plates, glasses, cutlery, and kitchen utensils right away. It is still always best to practice Clean As You Go (CLAYGO)
• Regularly take out or dispose of garbage so that it is not inhabited by insects and rat, which may be carriers of germs.
• Keep the floor clean from dropped food particles.
• Don’t forget to clean the refrigerator several times a month to prevent the proliferation of germs circulating inside. Cleaning the exterior of the refrigerator is a must too most specially the handles.
• Regularly change dishwashing sponges, kitchen towels, hand towels, and rags to keep germs from spreading to hands and other equipment.
• Make it a habit to disinfect the doorknob.
• Have regular bathroom cleaning, especially of the floor, toilet and sink.
• When flushing the toilet, put down the cover to avoid we know the plume of aerosol to scatter. It can travel up to 6 feet in every direction, and at least one-and-a-half to two feet with low-flush toilets. This will avoid your towels and toothbrush to be contaminated.
• Leave the door open to dry the walls and floor of the bathroom to avoid molds in its corners.
• Clean and wipe glass, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, and other containers that may leak water from the toilet.
• Store unused bath towels outside the bathroom. Keep them in a cabinet or covered container.
• Do not put shoes or slippers in the bathroom that are worn outside the house to prevent germs from being carried in it.
Aside from cleaning and disinfecting the house, it is also advisable to observe good personal hygiene. Since hygiene begins with self, it is best to perform proper body cleansing to prevent certain diseases that may come your way.
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Celebrate Mother's Day in a healthy way
Mother's Day is a time for handmade cards, celebratory breakfasts, and surprises that remind mom how much she is appreciated. One of the most powerful things you can do for this Mother's Day is to focus on mom's health, and women's health in general
The following are the most common health problems that women face:
1. Heart disease
2. Stroke
3. Lower respiratory infection
4. Chronic kidney disease
5. Tuberculosis
6. Diabetes
7. Hypertensive heart disease
With this in mind, here's how to schedule a Mother's Day celebration that is both safe, healthy and enjoyable.
1. Make a nutritious meal for mom. Serve mom a nutritious and tasty meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or both of them!). Make half of her plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter nutritious proteins. To keep her hydrated, serve her a lovely fruit-infused water.
2. Help mom in de-stressing. Make her a home spa experience: With bath salts, a face mask or new body scrub, candles, soothing music, and a personalized manicure or pedicure kit. You can also help on different household chores so mom can relax.
3. Help mom with the family’s needs. Moms have a lot on their to-do lists, so a little extra support crossing a few items off hers would be greatly appreciated. For example, you can plan nutritious family meals for the week. This will help mom relax and enjoy her day.
4. Give the gift of health. Apart from these gifts, we can do something very special that does not only demonstrate our affection and care for mom, but will also be very beneficial for her. Everyone wishes their mother to be well and safe for the rest of her life, so why not take the necessary steps to ensure that she does? With the Medgate Unliconsultation Plan, your mom can get hassle-free consultations with specialist doctors from Medgate. Guided with international telemedicine standards and guideline, Medgate provides 24/7 medical consultation over the phone.
To learn more or to purchase a Medgate Unliconsultation Plan, click here:
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there!
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Why is it important to keep hydrated always?
There are many reasons why it is so important to drink water every day. First and foremost is the maintenance of body temperature. There is also the prevention of painful joints because water lubricates them. Water also helps prevent infections, carry nutrients to every cell throughout the body, and keep the body's organs functioning properly.
Apart from these, proper hydration also helps to improve sleep, improve brain function, and to improve mood and reduce stress. Here are other benefits of water:
1. Helps prevent constipation
Water works to smooth and facilitate the flow of things, including what we eat. Drinking the right amount of water helps to facilitate the processes of the digestive system which in turn results in a normal and peaceful reduction of bowel movements.
2. Helps prevent kidney stones
Aside from the digestive system, drinking the right amount of water also helps us urinate and reduce unpleasant chemicals in our body. In fact, if the individual eats food is high in sodium, it is more appropriate for him to drink water. It prevents you to develop kidney stones which are feared by many people who love salty foods.
3. Reduces headaches and migraines
Because water contributes so much to bringing the right nutrients and energy to various parts of the body, the affected parts of the body also include the head. There are studies that also connect that headaches caused by migraine are caused by the body’s lack of water.
4. Helps improve exercise performance
Numerous studies have proven that proper hydration helps a lot in the activity of athletes. In their studies, experts found that in addition to physical strength, dehydration also affects the mental aptitude of athletes especially when competing in tournaments, competitions, or even during training.
5. May reduce hangovers
Drinking water may help reduce the negative effects of alcohol. Because alcohol is a diuretic and causes a reduction in water levels in the body, drinking plenty of water is also a visible solution.
You may get dehydrated if you do not drink enough water. This means that the body does not have enough fluid to function properly.
If you are dehydrated, your urine will tell you. You are well hydrated whether it is colorless or bright yellow. You could be dehydrated if your urine is a dark yellow or amber hue. If it helps, set a reminder for yourself so you will not forget to drink water.
Happy drinking!
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Health protocols amidst the rising COVID-19 cases in our country
Currently, the Philippines has an approximate 850,000 confirmed cases. COVID-19 cases is still rising up to this day and we need to strictly follow health protocols if we want to lessen the upsurge and go back to the way things were.
COVID-19 can be transmitted through close contact and several situations such as: living or working with people, sharing items, and giving care to another person. When a family member has a virus, this can cause distress
Follow to protect yourself and your family from acquiring the virus:
1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Good hygiene should always be observed. Regular handwashing should be done with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. In addition, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, to avoid introducing the virus from contaminated surfaces.
2. Stay away from crowded places. Stay at home as much as possible. If going out is needed, avoid crowded and indoor settings without good ventilation and always observe advised distance of 1-meter.
3. When coughing, always cover your mouth with a disposable tissue or bent elbow.
4. Wear a surgical mask. Always wear your face mask properly. Take note to replace your surgical mask after use.
5. Cook meat properly and thoroughly.
6. Drink plenty of water.
7. Get enough sleep to boost your immune system.
COVID-19 has changed us a lot in a different way. How we live, how we approach people, how we go grocery shopping, and how we think. We became careful about our surroundings and how we communicate with people around us. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person by droplets. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and then these droplets lands in our mouths or nose, we can obtain the virus.
Prevention is key to staying healthy. Getting enough sleep, washing hands often, keeping your home and work environments clean and sanitized can go a long way towards being able to enjoy your life.
As the number of people with COVID-19 continues to increase, everyone has a role to play in taking care of themselves and their loved ones and slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.
Seek medical care early if you or one of your family members have a fever, cough, body malaise, or difficulty in breathing. This will help us in stopping the upsurge of cases in our country and defeat this pandemic.
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How to Prepare Your Kids for a Teleconsultation Session
With summer illnesses on the rise, stay cool at home and talk to a doctor for any health concerns your kids may have.
Summer in the Philippines lasts from March to May. For Pinoy families, this season usually means vacations and time spent outdoors having fun with family and friends. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to loom large over the world, more and more people are looking to spend their summers indoors.
With the warm season in full swing, a significant rise in cases of certain illnesses comes with it as well. According to the Department of Health (DOH), the summer months usually bring an increase in food and water-borne diseases such as food poisoning and sore eyes, mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria, cough and colds, and other conditions like sunburn and prickly heat. Fortunately, most of these ailments can be prevented through proper food preparation, the use of insect repellant, and the practice of good hygiene.
Although those illnesses are indeed preventable, we must be vigilant when it comes to safeguarding the health of those in our families, especially our children. With limitations on travel brought on by COVID-19, taking our kids to their regular checkups or to consult a doctor to manage an illness can prove risky for parents, children, and health professionals as well. To limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses, telemedicine is a way for kids to receive the specialized medical care they need within the safety of their own homes. At Medgate, they cater children that are at least 6 months old.
At the heart of our telemedicine services is our unwavering commitment to providing care that comforts despite the distance – for all kinds of people. To maximize the benefits your children can receive from a teleconsultation session, here are the ways you can help:
1. Talk to your child about the session
Children tend to feel better about doctor’s appointments when they know what to expect. Depending on a child’s age and ability to communicate, talking to your child about the appointment can help ease any fears or questions they may have about seeing a doctor.
2. Gather important information
Before your teleconsultation, know the timeline of your child’s symptom/s, its progression and any medications given. Other things to keep handy before your child’s scheduled appointment are a list of your children’s medical history including allergies, recent weight (taken within the past 2 weeks), any previous diagnoses, and a list of any medications your child may be taking.
3. Find an ideal location
This is one of the most important steps to having a successful teleconsultation session for your child. The perfect location is quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. If your home has pets or other kids, consider situating them in another location in your home while the session is going on. In addition, stay in an area with good cellular reception as it will assure a smooth and clear consult.
4. Be with your child during the session
Like face-to-face consultations, a parent’s presence during a teleconsultation session helps medical professionals understand a child’s ailments better. For children, having the company of a parent can help put them at ease, especially when talking with a doctor. Should you not be available to attend the session, an authorized guardian may also accompany your child (so long as they have a valid ID to show) to keep them company.
5. Take note of any next steps
Before the end of your child’s teleconsultation session, make sure you understand the doctor’s diagnosis, instructions, and advice
When it comes to looking out for our children’s health, the possible risks involved in going outside should not prevent your children from seeking the medical care they need. For any concerns your kids might have, from consultations to medicine delivery, call a doctor at Medgate today.
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Keeping your skin healthy during this summer season
The summer season is here! As the seasons shift, so do our skin's requirements. Because of the harsh rays of the sun, it becomes much more difficult to keep the skin soft, healthy, and sparkling during the hotter months. When it comes to sun damage, too much exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV rays) can cause sunburn. They can injure or destroy skin cells by penetrating the outer skin and going deeper into layers. Skin cancer is said to be caused by excessive exposure to UV rays over a long period of time.
Here are ways to keep your skin healthy this summer season!
1. Moisturize your skin
The skin on your face, head, neck, and chest is extremely susceptible to environmental changes and is the most common site for skin cancer. These areas of skin often shed cells rapidly than other parts of the body and therefore need moisture to repair itself. Moisturizers re-establish the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin, which protects from the harmful pollutants & chemicals and it prevents further irritation or dryness.
2. Stay hydrated
We lose a lot of our body fluids by sweating in the hot and humid weather, so staying hydrated is particularly critical. Since the human body is composed of more than 60% liquids, dehydration becomes a challenge to our health. Our bodies are severely harmed as their fluid levels drop. In addition, hydration can also help the skin recover after a sunburn. Drink lots of water to make sure your body is hydrated!
3. Eat healthy
Eating healthy is essential during the summer season. Consume lots of fruits and vegetables as they contain essential vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that boost collagen production, reduce inflammation, and protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
4. Protect your skin from the sun
Long-term sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and other skin issues. Use sunscreen (at least SPF 15), spray liberally, and reapply every two hours to ensure you are well protected from the sun (if possible). Wear protective clothing as well, such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats, and so on. It is not a bad idea to seek shade, particularly when the sun's rays are powerful. Do not forget also to protect your eyes and lips. Wearing sunglasses to cover against the harmful rays of the sun and using a lip balm with SPF are some other things one can do.
5. Wear light & loose clothing
It is advisable to use breathable fabrics such as cotton during summer. Avoid tight fitting garments in synthetic fabrics as it can cause one to sweat more, and in turn make the skin itchy and can lead to having skin infections.
Also, to lessen your time of going out, you may consult or schedule an appointment with specialist doctors from Medgate right at the comfort of your own. Avoid disease exposure and keep your skin more protected against the sun.
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World TB Day
Every year, we commemorate World Tuberculosis Day. This annual event commemorates the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB), by Dr. Robert Koch in 1882.
World TB Day is a day dedicated to raising public awareness about the global effects of tuberculosis. TB is still one of the most lethal infectious diseases on the planet. Every day, nearly 4,000 people die from tuberculosis (TB), and nearly 28,000 people become ill with this preventable and curable disease. Since the year 2000, global efforts to eradicate tuberculosis have saved an estimated 63 million lives.
The theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2021 is “The Clock is Ticking”, which conveys the feeling that the world is running out of time to solve the issue.
What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs that can spread in your brain and spine. A bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes TB. There are a variety of TB strains, and some have become resistant to medication.
TB bacteria are transmitted through infected droplets in the air. A person who has TB can transmit the bacteria through:
● Sneezing
● Coughing
● Speaking
TB, however, is curable and preventable. There are not any signs and symptoms for latent TB. You will need to get a skin or blood test to find out whether you have it.
There are usually signs if you have active TB disease which may include:
● A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
● Chest pain
● Coughing up blood
● Feeling restless
● Night sweats
● Chills
● Fever
● Loss of appetite
● Weight loss
The clock is ticking. Do not hesitate to consult with Medgate specialist doctors if you are feeling these symptoms. It is time to mobilize and #EndTB!
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Tips on how to stay healthy this summer at home
The apparent rise in temperature is the most visible predictor of the summer season. Under normal conditions, beach trips, sports and other recreational events are the highlight of summer preparations.
1. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for the body's cooling process. When exercising or doing strenuous activities in the heat, it is recommended to drink electrolyte-containing drinks in addition to drinking more water. Hydration can also be increased by consuming foods rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is an integral part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Try to keep any exercise or physical activity indoors or under sufficient shade as much as possible. To escape the worst of the summer sun, schedule workouts during cooler hours—either early in the day or later in the afternoon.
3. Getting enough sleep
Increased appetite, higher blood glucose, low concentration, regular sickness, and decreased problem-solving skills are all related to not having enough sleep. Make it a point to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
4. Maintain proper hygiene
Taking a cold shower, particularly after coming in from the cold, is one of the best ways to regulate body temperature. The body is not only cooled, but the possibility of contamination from bacteria and other toxins is also reduced. Meanwhile, food contamination can be prevented by hand washing as well as disinfecting rooms, cutleries and cooking utensils.
5. Protect yourself from sun overexposure
Aerobic exercise is important for maintaining a solid and balanced heart health. You can inhale and exhale consistently and perform light exercises on a regular basis. However, the sun's ultraviolet rays can be harmful to the human body. Keep as much of your body out of the sun as possible; this will help you absorb more energy. If you have to exercise, stay indoors or limit your sun exposure. Applying a sunblock is a must too.
6. Wear loose, light-colored and lightweight clothing
Excessive clothing or tight-fitting clothes does not allow your body to cool properly. Clothes made of cotton and linen are preferred over synthetic fabrics.
7. Schedule an appointment with a virtual doctor
In the midst of all the existing health concerns, scheduling a check-up with a doctor will ensure that any emerging health issues are resolved before they worsen. Schedule an appointment with a doctor from Medgate to avoid disease exposure when you go out.
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How Telemedicine can help The Modern Woman
Less time spent in the hospital, more time for what truly matters.
Held annually on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women throughout history. This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge” – a rallying call to action to go against established “norms” and champion equality.
Challenging the status quo is something women have done for decades. As societies have progressed through the ages, the push for equality may still be ongoing, the role of a woman today is more dynamic than ever. Free from being boxed in by “gender roles” of the past, women in more and more parts of the world have options to choose. They can focus on their careers, run households, and help raise families – sometimes all at once.
However, with the continuous pressure that comes from modern living, a woman’s physical and mental health can sometimes go unchecked. In terms of major barriers keeping women from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they boil down to two things: lack of time, and the de-prioritization of their own well-being.
In the Philippines, studies have revealed that the top three causes of death among women are heart disease, cancer, and pneumonia. On top of those serious illnesses, women also face possible complications, or worse, deaths during pregnancy or childbirth. While stress management, a balanced diet, exercise, and better sleeping habits can help prevent the onset of illnesses, there remains a need for women to be able to fit the access to quality healthcare into their lifestyles.
For non-emergency cases, this is where telemedicine can be an effective solution. As telemedicine provides medical care and monitoring of treatment, the medium, supplemented by quarterly or semi-annual physical checks, can be helpful in managing chronic conditions such as Hypertension and Diabetes. This is aside from the usual outpatient illnesses that can be addressed via telemedicine as well.
At Medgate, our telemedicine services are geared to provide care that comforts – with over 20 years of effectively catering to a diverse range of patient needs despite the distance. In order to address the various medical concerns any woman might have, from consultations to treatment, here is how telemedicine can help:
1. Easier Consultations
Given the current situation of our healthcare system, going to a hospital can be quite the task. Visiting a doctor for a face-to-face consultation can pose a safety risk for both patients and healthcare professionals. At Medgate, our telemedicine consultations are integrated with medicine delivery services to save women from the trouble of having to go out to visit a pharmacy or healthcare facility, as the medical condition permits.
2. Observation of Treatment Plans
Especially in the case of conditions that require frequent monitoring, virtual consultations allow healthcare professionals to remotely keep a close eye on the progress of their patients and do a follow-up virtually, as long as their condition allows.
3. Discussing Test Results
The importance of the discussion of any medical test results between a patient and a specialist doctor cannot be further emphasized. As specialist interpretations of medical results lead to personalized treatment and prevention strategies, telemedicine helps provide a level of care as good as a face-to-face consultation.
From consulting with an OB-Gyne to other health specialists, a lack of time or the presence of other pressing concerns should never prevent a woman from accessing quality healthcare, no matter how fast paced life gets. Besides, expert medical advice especially at the onset of an illness will always be better than a quick internet search for symptoms or self-medication. With 24/7 availability, Medgate makes it easy for any woman to connect with the people she needs to maintain her health – whenever she needs them, and wherever she may be.
For women’s health needs, stay at home and call a doctor anytime with Medgate.
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What is indigestion
Indigestion or dyspepsia prevents proper digestion of the food which usually cause pain or heaviness in the abdomen. It is a that causes symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and heartburn or acid reflux.
Symptoms of indigestion include:
· Heavy feeling after eating
· Nausea
· Vomiting
· Diarrhea
· Stomach bloating
· Heartburn
· Sour / salty taste in the mouth
· Burping
Symptoms of indigestion are rare, but they should not be ignored, especially when you do not get better or you still experience severe diarrhea or vomiting after eating.
Indigestion also has alarm symptoms that can be an indication of a serious illness. Alarm symptoms can be anemia, loss of weight, anorexia, recent onset of progressive symptoms, melena, and difficulty in swallowing. It would be best to consult with a doctor if you experience any alarm symptoms.
What are the causes of dyspepsia?
Dyspepsia can be organic or functional. Organic dyspepsia is caused by an existing illness, drug side effects, or lifestyle. These are the common causes of organic dyspepsia:
· Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
· Hiatal Hernia
· Lactose Intolerance
· Irritable Bowel Syndrome
· Peptic Ulcer
· Pancreatitis
· Thyroid disease
· Duodenal Ulcer
· Diabetes
· Depression.
· Analgesics
· Antibiotics
· Birth Control Pills
· Steroids
· Thyroid Medicines
Functional dyspepsia, on the other hand, is indigestion with no apparent or clear cause. This is the more common form of dyspepsia and does not have any serious sequelae.
Triggers that can cause or worsen functional dyspepsia:
· Smoking & alcohol
· Smoking & alcohol
· Stress & anxiety
· Helicobacter pylori infection in a small percentage
There is no cure for functional dyspepsia, but symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, or both.
Some lifestyle changes that one can do include:
· Reducing or removing the cause of stress and anxiety.
· Avoid food and drinks that can aggravate the symptoms (ex: caffeinated drinks or fatty food).
· Small and frequent intake of food
· Lose weight if overweight or obese.
· Stop smoking and intake of alcoholic beverage
Should you feel any symptoms, there is no room for second guessing. Consult with our doctor’s anywhere, anytime, to give you the care that comforts.
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Telemedicine and Heart Health – What You Need to Know.
In the spirit of love month, here’s how we can help take care of your heart.
When you’ve got a problem, it’s always good to have a heart-to-heart talk. But what do you do when your heart is the problem?
First declared in 1973 by virtue of Proclamation no. 1096, Philippine Heart Month is celebrated every February to promote the awareness of heart disease as a serious concern among Filipinos.
Dealing with heart disease is no joke. From 2009-2019, heart disease consistently ranked 1st among causes of death in the country. As these figures cut across all age groups, the causes of heart disease can range from the food we eat, lifestyle choices such as smoking and not staying fit, and the presence of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
With our country’s healthcare systems still battling COVID-19, going to a hospital can be troublesome for both healthcare professionals and patients with heart ailments. However, there is an effective way for those with heart problems to get the assistance they need in the safety of their own homes – Telemedicine.
Heart conditions in stable patients with uncomplicated disease, can be addressed via telemedicine as management mostly entails maintenance prescriptions along with preventive medical advice. With over 20 years of experience as an international leader in telemedicine, at Medgate, our services are geared to suit a wide range of patient needs, providing care that comforts despite the distance.
In order to improve the quality of life for someone with heart problems, here are the best ways where Medgate can help:
1. Better Lifestyle Counseling
Even though sessions aren’t conducted face-to-face, patients can be assured that their healthcare providers will still give comprehensive yet personalized care solutions. Aside from advice to eat well and lose weight, by being able to look at a patient’s home and living situation, doctors can tailor-fit lifestyle changes and recommendations geared to help patients live better.
2. Decreased Hospital Visits
Virtual consultations mean less time spent travelling back and forth, less exposure for both patients and staff, and less money spent on hospital admissions and fees – which means more time to enjoy with your loved ones.
3. Better Availability and Efficient Medicine Delivery
When it comes to our health, time is essential. Telemedicine allows patients to get instant access at any time of the day to specialist doctors without having to wait in line for hours at a hospital. Medicine delivery services are also integrated with telemedicine consultations as well to save patients from having to go to a pharmacy.
When it comes to love problems, call a friend. But when it comes to heart problems, call a doctor. Let’s keep our hearts healthy in 2021 by scheduling a consultation with Medgate today.
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How proper oral health can have an impact on your overall well-being
Good oral hygiene is essential. Your ability to eat and speak can all be impaired by swollen or bleeding gums, missing teeth, infections, and oral discomfort.
Oral Health Month is a good time to take stock of your routine of oral care and to consider how proper oral health can impact your overall well-being.
How can you take care of your teeth? Here are a few tips:
1. Brush your teeth. Do it at least twice a day for two to three minutes each day. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Brushing to hard can hurt your gums. Do not forget to clean your tongue also, with either a toothbrush or tongue scraper.
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and a soft-bristled toothbrush. One may consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush which is found to reduce the incidence of having plaque and gum infection than manual brushing.
2. Floss after you brush. It is more effective than brushing alone, as it helps to remove food debris and bacteria from places the toothbrush cannot reach. Floss gently into the space between your gum and tooth. Use it also on the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion.
3. Eat healthy. Make healthy food choices rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin D rich in omega-3 fats.
4. Quit smoking. Smoking not only adversely affects your overall well-being, but can also seriously harm your teeth, gums, and mouth. Nicotine and tar in tobacco will make your teeth yellow in a short time and turn them brown after a couple of years.
5. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise, meditation and deep breathing can help diminish the negative impact of stress on your mouth and immune system.
6. If you have Diabetes, be compliant with your medications and follow the recommended diet to keep your sugar controlled. This will decrease the risk for other complications like gum diseases.
7. If your medications cause dry mouth, you may do the following: increase your water intake, chew sugarless gum and avoid alcohol and tobacco products.
Most importantly, make sure to schedule regular dental appointments with your dentist. Although brushing and flossing your teeth at home is vital for removing the plaque, you cannot remove the tartar on your own. You need to keep up with your daily dental appointments. Many people would continue to visit their dentists every six months for regular cleaning and check-up.
After all, having good gums and teeth will make us end up with a smile.
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Medgate launches new partnership with InLife Health Care
Medgate Philippines is launching a new partnership with InLife Health Care, in line with their dedication to reach and provide accessible health care to millions of Filipinos. With the partnership, InLife Health Care members will have 24/7 direct access to a competent physician for their regular health care needs, without visiting a clinic or hospital.
The licensed doctors at Medgate are trained to be fit for Telemedicine and ensure to protect the patient’s private medical data.
''As our doctors collect private medical data, the patient's permission must be granted and integrated into our procedure to ensure that it is fully compatible with the 2012 Philippine Data Privacy Act. Medgate has been licensed with the National Privacy Commission since 27 January 2018,'' says Stavros Athanasiou, Medgate’s President.
Being a founding member of the International Society for Telemedicine and E-health, Medgate works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and many national telemedicine organizations to establish best practices for the delivery of teleconsultations. It employs statistically-based clinical guidelines based on its extensive experience of more than 9 million teleconsultations.
If you are an InLife Health Care member, you may speak to a doctor, by directly calling our telemedicine hotlines or sending us a message via SMS.
Call us through the following numbers:
Manila: 02 8705 0700
Davao: 082 285 5111
Cebu: 032 265 5111
Dumaguete: 035 522 5111
Globe: 0917 536 2156 / 0917 536 2715 0917 548 7673
Smart: 0998 990 7540 / 0998 990 7541 0998 990 7542 / 0998 843 2880
Sun: 0925 714 7794 / 0925 714 7793
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Different types of vaccine for COVID-19
One way to stop the spread of a virus is through vaccines.
Vaccine works by helping our bodies combat the virus when it enters the human body. When germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19, invade our bodies, they attack and multiply. This invasion, called an infection, is what causes the disease.
In a careful sequence of steps, vaccine production continues to make sure that the final product is both safe and successful. The process of basic research and preclinical studies in animals comes first. After that, vaccines are implemented in small phase 1 studies focusing on protection, and then in larger phase 2 studies focusing on efficacy.
Several COVID-19 vaccines are in clinical trials at present. Before authorizing vaccines for COVID-19 use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review the outcomes of these trials. But because COVID-19 vaccines are desperately needed and the FDA's vaccine approval process can take months to years, the FDA will first offer COVID-19 vaccines emergency use authorization based on less data than is usually necessary.
Last December 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for emergency use, making the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the outbreak.
Below is a table listing the various vaccines that has been approved by US or UK Food and drug administration
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
(University of Oxford and AstraZeneca)2
(BioNTech and Pfizer)
(NIAID and Moderna)
Type of Vaccine Non-replicating viral vector mRNA mRNA
Current phase of Clincal Trial Phase 3 Phase 3 Phase 3
Vaccine Dosing and Efficacy
Dose and Frequency 2 doses
6 to 12 weeks apart
2 doses
21 days apart
2 doses
28 days apart
Vaccine Efficacy 62% (full dose x 2)
90% (half dose then full dose)
14 days after the 2nd dose
7 days after the 2nd dose
14 days after the 2nd dose
Adverse events · Injection site pain & tenderness
· Myalgia
· Fatigue
· Headache
· Malaise
· Chills
· Pain on injection site
· Fatigue
· Headache
· Fever
· Lymphadenopathy
· Pain on injection site
· Axillary lymphadenopathy
· Erythema & swelling on injection site
· Fever
· Headache
· Fatigue
· Myalgia
· Arthralgia
· Nausea
· Vomiting
· Chills
Serious Adverse events · Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration
· Right axillary lymphadenopathy
· Paroxysmal arrythmia
· Right leg paresthesia
· Intractable nausea and vomiting
· Facial swelling
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Dyspnea with exertion
· Peripheral edema
· Autonomic dysfunction
· B-Cell lymphocytic lymphoma
*Data presented are based on the interim analysis of vaccines with published phase 3 trials. May change depending on the results of further studies.
Vaccines are usually made from weakened or inactivated versions of the virus. However, newer technologies of vaccine manufacturing have been found, such as the ones employed in developing the COVID vaccine.
For AstraZeneca, it makes use of specific regions of the target pathogen, in this case COVID-19 virus, to create specific immune reactions. A weakened version of the common cold virus that contains the SARS-CoV-2 spike 2 protein is used. This approach has been successful before when it was used in making the Ebola vaccine.
On the other hand, Pfizer and Moderna, are based on the messenger-Ribonucleic acid (mRNA). MRNA teaches our cells to produce proteins, which does not cause disease. It triggers an immune response against the virus, enabling the person to develop immunity.
Aside from the listed vaccines in the table, there are other COVID vaccines being studied and produced.
There are 2 Chinese developed vaccines which are Sinopharm and Sinovac. Both have passed their Phase 3 clinical trials. Reported efficacy is 79% for Sinopharm and 78% for Sinovac. However, at present, details of the phase 3 trials are not published yet.
The Sputnik V vaccine by Gamaleya Institute, Russian based, is said to have a 91.4% efficacy reported. It is engineered using viral vector, similar to AstraZeneca.
Janssen vaccine by Johnson & Johnson also uses the viral adenovirus vector technology. Their interim data is not available until late-January as reported.
Here are some vaccines that may be administered in the country:
1. BioNTech
2. AstraZeneca
3. Sputnik V
4. Moderna
5. Janssen
6. Sinovac
7. Sinopharm
8. Clover
9. Novavax
One of the steps that you can do to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. The vaccine will protect us from acquiring the disease or suffering from the severe symptoms of the disease. Hence, it is important that we should all be informed of the vaccines available before receiving one. This will be one big step for all of us in eradicating the disease and eventually putting a halt to this pandemic.
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Sleep care is the new self-care
2021 is here and the first thing on everybody's agenda should be: self-care!
Self-care is a personal matter. Everyone’s approach is different. When we discuss about self-care, we talk about the actions you can take to develop, protect, maintain, and improve health and well-being. It can be super helpful to integrate self-care activities or a self-care plan into your daily routine that promote relaxation, as well as a sense of peace and ease.
Some may have a hard time to pinpoint one aspect in life that they are going to want to adjust to become happier and healthier. There are a lot of things that we need to consider as self-care covers such as: life-balance, stress relief, weight management, fitness, relationships, spirituality.
But it is possible and may make your path of self-care easier. Here is a tip: Sleep care.
Of the three pillars of a healthy life, sleep is arguably the most important one. It affects psychological health, cardiovascular health, metabolism, and the immune system.
Here are a few “sleep hygiene” tips to help you get a goodnight sleep:
1. Avoid Caffeine & Nicotine
Both are stimulants that could keep your body awake. It is best to avoid them at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine can temporarily make us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate are some beverages and food that contain caffeine. Nicotine, on the other hand, causes the release of epinephrine, which further stimulates the nervous system. Aside from this, it can reduce the quality of sleep by suppressing the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the deepest level of sleep.
2. Eat healthy
Fuel your body with nutritious food as this can reduce the risk of illness and improve your ability to recover. Finish your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bedtime so you are done digesting.
3. Do not intake alcohol to help you sleep
Alcohol may aid in sleep onset, due to its sedative properties. However, it can reduce the quality of sleep as it also affects the REM sleep. In addition, it is a diuretic, suppressing the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), causing your body to remove fluids at a quicker rate. As a result, your sleep can be disrupted by waking you more often to urinate.
4. Limit late night electronics
Whether for social media or work emails, we are more tempted to check them one more time before bed. Electronics can be over-stimulating, making it difficult to fall asleep. In addition, the glow from electronic devices can inhibit natural sleep cycles.
5. Develop a sleep routine
Having a consistent sleep-wake cycle would help keep the body’s clock regulated. It is suggested that one sleep and wake-up at the same time every day, weekends and holidays included.
6. Get up if not sleeping
If you have been trying to sleep for at least 20 minutes already, get out of bed. Try to do any calming and non-stimulating activity in a dark and quiet environment.
7. Avoid taking late naps
Studies have found out that 10 to 20 minutes of nap is the ideal nap length. It is enough to provide restorative sleep without causing one to be drowsy after waking. Avoid taking naps late in the day because it can affect your sleeping time in the evening.
Sleep is crucial for coping with the ups and downs of life, and for managing stress. Attempt to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep every night, and refrain from sleeping for more than 9 hours.
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Being your best self this 2021
As another year has ended, one full of unprecedented times, it is the perfect time to look back on what we have accomplished and what goals that excites us do we set this 2021.
2020 surprised us with its grand entrance of the Australia forest fire and we have experience a volcanic eruption in the country where the Taal Volcano woke up from 43 years of silence and started spilling gas, ash, and lava into the air. The eruption dumped a coating of exceptionally wet, thick ash on the local landscape. Aside from that, a global pandemic took over our lives, confining us almost all year round to our homes. It was in the middle of March that our government implemented quarantine measures to be enforced to varying degrees to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. New practices, new ways of life, new daily routines were being instilled by individuals. The way of life basically changed. If not for most countries, it went into recession with the forced suspension of usual personal, social and business operations. In line with this, millions of Filipinos lost their jobs.
Now that we entered a new year, it is time to take our learnings with us through 2021. Being the best YOU is taking care of yourself in every aspect. Whether it be physically, spiritually, and most especially, mentally. Always remember that your true “self” is your best “self”. To achieve this, you must maintain self-care practices like:
• Exercising
• Meditating
• Practicing yoga
Difficult moments may not be easy to comprehend at times, but there is always wisdom that comes from suffering or any challenge in life. This year is a stage of life that, due to the difficulties and problems it brought to the Philippines and the rest of the globe, many would want to forget. This is something, even in our wildest dreams, that we could not have expected. It has also taught us many valuable lessons in retrospect, such as being conscious, living in the moment, and never taking something for granted.
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Firecracker Injury Prevention
Firecrackers are small explosive devices mainly intended to create a huge volume of noise. However, other firecrackers can cause injury to humans, such as burns, poisoning, breathing issues, eye damage and serious hand injuries.
Every December is Firecracker Injury Prevention Month. During this month, the government and other private groups are organizing different anti-firecracker program to minimize damage caused by the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices during the holiday celebration. The safety of the public, particularly children, from fire-fighting accidents is a major concern.
As we welcome the new year, Filipinos light up firecrackers to welcome good luck and fortune with the upcoming year.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:
• Light firecrackers outdoors
• Light one firecracker at a time
• Do not hold a firecracker while lighting it.
• Do not pick-up failed firecrackers as they can still explode
• When lighting fireworks like a fountain, do not bend directly over the pyrotechnic.
• Do not throw firecrackers at passing people or vehicles.
• Do not let children hold firecrackers. Ingestion of firecrackers like watusi calls for prompt medical attention
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A new way to spend Christmas
The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed and influenced the Christmas shopping behavior of most Filipinos, but this will not stop them from continuing this year's tradition of holiday gift-giving. This year’s holiday celebrations will be different from what we’re accustomed to as safety protocols continue to regulate gatherings and enforce physical distancing, reunions, get-togethers, and Christmas bazaar shopping.
For those who insist on going out, social distancing and wearing face masks and shield is still being mandated by the government. While staying at home and avoiding large gatherings is the best way to not get infected, here are some helpful tips on how to celebrate the Christmas season safely and with as much cheer as possible:
1. Decorate your homes for the holidays
Welcome the holiday spirit by adding familiar Christmas traditions to your house. Build the Christmas tree together with the family. Let the kids hang the Christmas ornaments and other Christmas decorations in the house.
2. Have a virtual party
Since it’s impossible to have gatherings physically, do it online. Family bonding and holiday celebrations will have to be virtual this year. By distancing ourselves from people beyond our current social group, particularly those who live far away and our elders, we are keeping them and the people around us safe
3. Do your gift shopping and shipping early
Buying gifts will be a lot different due to the pandemic. People are scared to be exposed to the virus so mostly are resorting to online shopping, rather than going to a physical store. Although more customers will be ordering online to avoid malls, delivery companies will be flooded—so you'll want to buy and deliver presents early to make sure they arrive on time.
4. Share the love
Physical presents may not be feasible to everyone this season but sharing and showing the love to people around us is the best gift that we can give this season. After all, this season is a time to be grateful and If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how much the people in our lives mean to us, so go ahead and spread some happiness and love where you can.
This pandemic shouldn’t hinder us on how we spend our holidays. Whatever December may bring, the spirit of Christmas is one thing it can't steal. And like how we've adapted to a lot of what's called the 'new normal', we're still going to adapt to new ways to celebrate Christmas.
Remember, we’re all in this together!
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Understanding Your Telemedicine Experience
Doctors perform one of the most valuable personal services in the world. They care for our bodies in the most intimate of ways. We place our lives in their hands and trust they have our best interest at heart.
As we experience the challenges brought on by the pandemic, there is the need to adapt to the current situation, in the most cautious of ways. This includes the use of technology in consulting with our doctors. Thus, the need for telemedicine has never been more palpable than in recent months. However, implementing telemedicine has presented new challenges for healthcare professionals who are practicing telemedicine.
We spoke to specialist doctors from Medgate to understand the mentality and the mind of a telemedicine doctor. Based on their feedback, here are a couple of points to take note of when you undergo teleconsultation:
· Doctors follow a protocol
Documents such as prescription, medical certificate, laboratory requests are issued only upon the discretion of the treating doctor. Such protocols adhere to the doctors’ oath to heal and do no harm to patients. Years of education and in clinic practice of medicine provides our doctors with the skill and competence to the safety of the patient above all else
· Patient Readiness
When consulting with a doctor, whether physically or via telemedicine, a patient should be ready with all the pertinent information related to the consultation. These items may be, but not limited to, a laboratory or diagnostic results, most recent prescriptions, pediatric booklets and other medical histories. These are essential for a an efficient and comprehensive consultation with your doctor.
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How to handle or support loved ones who have COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone globally. As we take on these unprecedented days together, we might know someone whose life has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. It’s times like these when we’re especially lucky to be surrounded by helpful people.
As we all struggle to understand our new normal, what do we do when a loved one has tested for COVID-9? How do we comfort each other? And how do we convey hope and understanding?
Here are things you can do to help someone with COVID-19 while staying safe yourself.
1. Make a call
When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the first thing that a patient needs to do is to isolate themselves. To help lessen the person from feeling isolated, personally reach out and make a phone call and see how the individual is doing. Although some may prefer to have their privacy, it won’t hurt to reach out.
2. Show compassion and practice kindness
Showing compassion encompasses a deep consideration that all of us instinctively have for others. Although we cannot always be on each other's side, by acts of kindness, we can care for others.
3. Help cover basic needs
Help them with grocery shopping, buying medication, and getting other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.
4. Ask about finances
Although it may sound uncomfortable asking about finances, it may be prudent to check their financial health if you know a loved one may be facing financial burdens or live pay check to pay check without an emergency fund.
5. Influence them on having a new routine
If you feel as though your friend or loved one is struggling to maintain feelings of normalcy, try to help them establish something of a routine to carry them through their period of isolation. Maybe you could watch a movie together, something that he has not tried since the lockdown.
6. Avoid Gossip or Speculation
When talking to someone who is sick, or an affected family member, avoid gossip or speculation. There is a powerful human side of this crisis that deserves our quiet attention, calm civility, and careful respect.
Most importantly, during this tough time, it is important to take care of your own mental health too. Even if it seems like it is the last thing you have time for, this can mean finding extra time for self-care activities. Keep up the workout, get enough sleep, get enough vitamins, eat nutritious food, and practice meditation.
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All you need to know about expired medication
What is expired medication?
Every medication has an expiration. They have expiry dates so you know when to use them by. Beyond the expiry date, medicines may not be safe or as effective.
Can you take expired medications?
Because of a change in chemical composition or a reduction in strength, expired medical products may be less effective or dangerous. Some expired drugs are at risk of bacterial development, and with lesser potency than expected, therefore the risk of not appropriately treating an illness.
How to dispose expired medication
First, read the medicine’s label and follow any specific disposal instructions that may be included. If there is none, follow these steps:
1. Mix: medicines with unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litters, or used coffee grounds.
2. Place: place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag, with a little bit of water to make the medication unusable and throw it away.
3. Throw: throw the container in your household trash.
4. Scratch out: make sure to scratch out all the necessary information such as your name and address off the medication label, if there is any. This will help protect your privacy and personal information
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Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week
On the basis of Proclamation No. 124 signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001, Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Week is observed every third week of November. The proclamation highlights a nationwide and a systematically-coordinated community information drive against the evils of drug abuse with the objective to increase awareness and understanding of the adverse effects of drug abuse not only on the health of people but also on the social, economic and even the political development of the country.
The misuse of drugs has a huge effect on people, families, and communities. The consequences of drug abuse are cumulative. Significantly contributing to social, physical, mental, and public health problems. Such problems may include:
• Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
• Domestic violence
• Child abuse
• Motor vehicle crashes
• Physical fights
• Crime
• Suicide
• Teenage pregnancy
Drug abuse prevention starts with education. Drug misuse has a widespread impact on the whole population. Understanding the risk factors of substance use and spreading the word by prevention efforts is the strongest protection against drug addiction.
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World Diabetes Day
Saturday, November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight. The initiative for World Diabetes Day in 2020 focuses on supporting the role of nurses in diabetes prevention and management.
In essence, Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar. It is about the body’s ability (or lack of it) to produce the required amount of a hormone called insulin to control glucose levels in the blood. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the cells to be stored or used for energy.
Different types of diabetes can occur, and the treatment of the condition depends on the type of diabetes a person has. There are mainly three types of diabetes:
1. Type 1 Diabetes
• Occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. It is said to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. About 10% of people who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes. This was previously called Juvenile-onset Diabetes because it often begins in childhood.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
• Also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did. Obesity poses a risk to developing type 2 Diabetes as it often causes insulin resistance.
3. Gestational Diabetes
• During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin. The pancreas tries to cope by producing extra insulin to overcome the resistance. But when it is unable to keep up, little glucose goes into the cells and stays in the circulating blood, hence resulting to Gestational Diabetes.
To help minimize and prevent long-term complications, it is very important that people with diabetes maintain good control of their condition, and there have been enormous developments in this field in recent years.
Some types of diabetes like type 1 are caused by factors beyond the persons’ control. If any of your loved ones have diabetes, support them in all things possible so they may be encouraged to a well, active, and healthy lifestyle.
Most importantly, do not hesitate to consult with Medgate's doctors about diabetes. Early prevention is the key to a healthy, long-term life.
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National Children's month
As declared by the Council of Welfare for Children (CWC), National Children's month starts annually every November. This month- long event aims to educate and spread awareness of children's rights here in the Philippines, taking into account the political and social environment in which they live.
This year’s celebration will focus on upholding children’s rights during a pandemic like COVID-19, with the theme: Sama-samang itaguyod ang karapatan ng bawat bata sa panahon ng pandemya!
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 National Children’s Month aims to stimulate advocacy and public information on protecting children's rights. Also, like every year – National Children’s month aims to celebrate and recognize children as the nation's most precious assets and to highlight the importance of their position within the Filipino family and Philippine society.
As stated in the Presidential Decree No. 603 or also known as The Child and Youth Welfare Code, here are the 12 rights of Filipino children:
1. Every child has the right to be born well.
2. Every child has the right to a wholesome family life that will provide him with love, care and understanding, guidance and counselling, and moral and material security.
3. Every child has the right to be raised well and become a happy, useful and active member of society.
4. Every child has the right to basic needs.
5. Every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and the strengthening of his character.
6. Every child has the right to education.
7. Every child has the right to play and enjoy their youth.
8. Every child has the right to be protected against exploitation, improper influences, hazards, and other conditions or circumstances that may affect his/her physical, mental, emotional, social and moral development.
9. Every child has the right to live in a community and a society that can offer him a safe and productive environment
10. Every child has the right to be cared for in the absence of their parent or guardian.
11. Every child has the right to good governance.
12. Every child has the right to grow up as a free individual.
Let's strive to be great examples for children and be mindful of our actions. The molding of a child's character begins at home, that’s why very family member should aim to make the home a safe and harmonious environment, as its atmosphere and circumstances will have a significant impact on the development of the child.
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Cardio workouts we can do at home
Aerobic exercise and exercises are often referred to as cardio, short for "cardiovascular." You repeatedly move large muscles in your arms, legs and hips during aerobic activity. In order to improve lung capacity and prevent the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, cardio workouts are necessary.
When you do cardio workouts, your heart rate also rises and you breathe more deeply and more rapidly. This maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood and eventually makes you to effectively use oxygen.
Here are best cardio workouts that you can do at home without needing any equipment:
1. Burpees: this exercise is beneficial for the entire body.
Assume a squat position and place your arms on the ground, in front of your feet Keep your feet together and get ready to jump back so that you can land in a push-up position. Bend your forearms and perform a single push-up in this position. Jump back to the previous position and bring your feet beneath your body. Leap into the air. Land smoothly and bend your leg.
2. High Knees: this is a simple but successful method of cardio. It allows the butt, the thighs, the hips, and the abs to tone.
Start by holding both hands out and palms down. Drive right knee to right palm. Immediately drive left knee to left palm as you return right leg to starting position. Stay light on your toes and continue to repeat as fast as possible.
3. Spot jogs: one of the most convenient cardio exercise you can do at home.
Stand straight with your feet apart and hands by the sides of your body. Lift your knees as high as possible and jog in one spot. Continuously do this for at least 60 seconds. 4. Mountain Climbers: This exercise is beneficial for the wrists, arms, and shoulders, as well as the core.
4. Mountain Climbers: This exercise is beneficial for the wrists, arms, and shoulders, as well as the core.
Run your knees in and out from a push-up position. Alternate jumping each foot forward and back. Continuously do this for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
5. Staircase Jog: walking or jogging in the stairs is an excellent cardio workout
All you need is a staircase with at least one step. Walk or jog up and down the stairs. You may also alternate 1-2 laps up and down with other cardio exercises, such as jumping rope, jogging in place, and jumping jacks.
6. Jumping Jacks: Jumping jack is a simple cardiovascular or aerobic exercise that can help decrease body weight and fat.
Keep your spine and head straight, arms resting beside your body, and feet together. Bending your knees slightly, jump in the air as high as you can. Stretch your hands simultaneously, in line with the shoulders. While coming down, make sure your feet rest on the floor and are shoulder-width apart, while your hands are stretched out above the head.
Cardio helps you maintain a healthier weight, increases bone density, reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and helps you build a stronger core. No matter how old you are, aerobic activity and exercises will help you in your everyday tasks and increase your strength and endurance.
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Medgate Recognized for Prestigious Awards
This 2020, Medgate Switzerland has been recognized by the Capital Finance International ( and The Health Care Insights for excellence in the field of telemedicine. awarded Medgate as The Best Global Telemedicine Provider of 2020 because of its breakthrough tech and how they develop, secure, and deliver convenient telemedicine solutions. Medgate continuously advocates for telemedicine as the future of healthcare and strives to spark a shift in mindsets and attitudes.
Medgate Abu Dhabi was also recently recognized by the Department of Health (DoH) - Abu Dhabi, the regulative body of the Healthcare Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, for achieving a score of 98.7% on its JAWDA data assessment. JAWDA is an Abu Dhabi Healthcare Quality Index that has been developed by DoH – Abu Dhabi with the aim of improving the quality of patient care in Abu Dhabi. The framework for JAWDA has been created in alignment with global best practices for measuring the performance of those operating in the healthcare sector.
Medgate Philippines, the first Medgate branch in South East Asia, has been recognized by Health Care Insights as the most trusted remote medical solution provider in the Philippines. Medgate Philippines were one of the first telemedicine companies accredited by the Philippine Department of Health to provide a telemedicine hotline during first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the tried and tested protocols, policies, standards, and personnel employed by the company, as well as being one of the few telemedicine companies that complies with the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and is registered with the National Privacy Commission (NPC).
Due to the difficulties in accessing medical care during the pandemic, telemedicine has been recognized as a key tool to ensure that every Filipino has immediate access to medical care.
Since the founding of Medgate in Switzerland in 1998, Medgate has delivered over 9 million teleconsultations. Apart from intensive training of their doctors and nurses, the data produced the millions of consultations enabled them to create their own statistically-based tele treatment guidelines, which helps their doctors confidently diagnose and treat patients telemedically. Medgate brings you the best of Swiss technology, implementing a robust platform that delivers best-in-class services.
In 2019, Medgate Philippines was the recipient of CMO Asia’s Best Medical Practice Award for their work in the Philippines. These prestigious accolades in 2020 continue to validate Medgate’s strategic focus on high quality, innovative telemedicine solutions and digital health.
As the world grapples with COVID-19, telemedicine is more important than ever before. Medgate is trusted by millions of Filipinos to provide the best telemedicine service before, during, and after this pandemic.
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Global Handwashing Day
As the world fights this global pandemic, handwashing has never been more important. This Global Handwashing Day, the main goal for this campaign is to recognize how important handwashing is in reducing the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including the COVID-19 virus. Health workers and community members alike can play a role in preventing infections by practicing regular and frequent handwashing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) are aiming, as part of the 2020 initiative, to:
1. Make hand hygiene a priority worldwide.
2. Inspire hand ygiene and improving actions.
3. Engage with health care workers in their role in clean care and the prevention of infections.
When should you wash your hands?
1. Before eating
2. Before and after attending to sick children or other family members.
3. Before, during and after preparing food
4. After using the bathroom
5. After handling animals
6. After smoking
7. When deemed necessary
The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from a variety of infectious diseases, such as common cold, is to wash your hands properly and teach your children to do the same. Washing your hands not only prevents you from getting sick, but it also reduces the risk of infecting others.
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Preventing Eyestrain
As social distancing and remaining at home became completely necessary to flatten the curve, the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns across the globe. The boundaries between working hours and non-working hours began to blur when most workplaces were closed and people worked from home, so much that some people found themselves working for much longer than they were meant to.
Staring all day long at a computer screen, for a long period of time, certainly puts a strain on your eyes. Poor lighting, an improvement in visual requirements and inadequate blinking are all factors that lead to computer related eyestrain. In addition, many computer users also switch to smaller devices such as their phones, which just makes the pressure on your eyes much worse.
Here are tips to consider reducing or preventing eyestrain:
Taking breaks:
Taking breaks will not hurt you. Rest your eyes occasionally by looking away from the digital screen. Setting an alarm may be a helpful tool to remind you to take a break.
Implementing 20/20 rule:
Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Blinking or winking often:
When working on a screen, many people blink less than normal, which may lead to dry eyes. Tears that moisten and refresh your eyes are created by blinking. When staring at a screen, consider making it a habit to blink more frequently.
Eye rolling:
Rolling your eyes can do wonders for your eye muscles, particularly if you have been sitting for hours in front of a computer screen. It is easy to pick up: simply close your eyelids in circular movements and move your eyes around.
Visual Scanning:
Help your eyes scan for both close and far between objects. Stand back and observe the space in which you are in. At one end of the room, locate an object and start to scan the outline of every single item in the room.
Proper Posture:
The computer should be at an eye-level and you are seated properly.
Bigger Font Size:
Adjust the font to a comfortable font size.
Not Too Close:
Make sure your computers or phones are 18 to 24 inches away from your eyes.
Screen Brightness:
Adjust the screwen brightness to a comfortable level.
No Fans on Face:
Avoid direct wind from a fan or air-conditioner as this may also cause dry eyes.
Do not let your eyes get weak from too much screen time and get excessively stressed. When you are on the screen, take care of your eye health with these quick eye exercises. Due to the pandemic, computers are being used everywhere, both at school and at work. Escape some of the hazards that can result in the straining of the eyes with these quick and easy to do breaks.
Just like other muscles in your body, your eyes are muscles; they get sore when held in one place for too long.
Let us give our eye muscles a break and they'll say thank you!
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Tips for regular bowel movement
Digestion may be a complete mystery for most of us. Our bodies appear to be doing just what they do, sometimes without any explanation.
Regular bowel movement is important for good health. An individual needs to poop to survive because otherwise the body has no way to excrete those wastes. If a person has not pooped for several days, the stool in the intestines will back up.Prolonged constipation may start putting your health at risk. That is why it is important to have a healthy and regular bowel movement. To ensure regular visits to the bathroom, here are a few tips:
1. Drink water
Every cell in our body requires water. Our bodies get the water we need from the liquids we drink, and the food we consume. The digestive system needs plenty of water to keep food waste moving through it. When you are well hydrated, less water will be drawn out of your colon, thereby keeping your stool soft and easy to pass. Otherwise, the stool can become hard and difficult to pass. 2. Add fiber in your diet
2. Add fiber in your diet
Fiber has a lot to do with natural bowel movements. Fiber is the portion that we cannot absorb from the plant foods. Thus, it forms the foundation for the stools we transfer during bowel movements.
3. Eat fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables
Furthermore, consuming foods with plenty of fiber is essential. This adds bulk to your stool, which stimulates the bowels and help propel the stools to move forward. Foods containing fiber include: fruits, such as strawberries, and apples; nuts and seeds, such as pistachios, almonds, or sunflower seeds; and green leafy vegetables.
4. Maintain a healthy eating habit
Develop a regular eating habit and chew your food properly before swallowing. It’s important to eat plenty of leafy vegetables and salads.
Bowel movements require food, fluids to create a more comfortable experience. If you're following those tips and your symptoms don't get better, talk to a doctor.
You may talk to specialist doctors from Medgate without having to worry to get exposed with different diseases such as COVID-19.
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Flattening the curve with the help of Telemedicine
Telemedicine has paved the way on flattening the curve during this pandemic but did you know that know that telemedicine first began as a form of healthcare delivery in the late 1960s?
For this moment in time, Telehealth, the virtual care platforms that allow health care professionals and patients to meet by telephone or video chat, appears tailor-made. Telemedicine or digital health was created to treat patients who are in remote places, or when travel is not feasible due to severe weather or an emergent condition such as a stroke. The current crisis makes virtual care solutions such as telehealth an important tool, as COVID-19 spreads across the world.
Today, the telemedicine industry is changing faster than ever before. Due to COVID-19, changes in the delivery of health care have occurred to reduce the exposure of workers and patients to sick people, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and mitigate the effects of influx of patients on medical facilities. Healthcare services will need to change the way patients are handled, assessed and cared for using approaches not dependent on in-person experiences.
Before COVID-19 blew up, Medgate has already been providing telemedicine to millions of Filipinos. Medgate has two decades of telemedicine experience, with expertise of over 9 million consultations. Medgate follows international standard and protocols, and has global presence on different parts of the globe.
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Staying healthy this ber months!
September is the start of the “ber” months which means Christmas is approaching, at least in the Philippines. Christmas is a time for presents, eating, drinking and being merry.
As we are officially nearing the Christmas season, Christmas comes the never-ending struggle of each of us – how do we stay healthy during this holiday season and maintain a healthy habit. Though, due to the pandemic, Christmas might be a little different and tweak our usual celebration by just spending the holidays in our homes.
Here are some tips so you can maintain a healthy you throughout the “ber” months:
1. Monitor what you eat
Find out what dietary choices are healthy or bad for you. Hold off the sugars, fat, and grease.
2. Do not overindulge
Stop overindulging on heavy, calorie-dense foods. Eating should be fun but too much fun can be a cause of disaster.
3. Be Active
A sedentary lifestyle can affect your health in many ways. For example, sitting for long hours while watching television, may increase the chance of developing blood clots in the deep veins of your legs. Simple home work-outs, doing chores in the house, walking around or marching in place while watching the television are some of the many things that we can do. Exercise does not always have to be intense. There are a lot of opportunities in our daily lives at home to sneak in that extra movement.
4. Stay hydrated
Make sure to drink eight glasses of water every day including a glassful when you wake up. In addition, we burn more fat when we are hydrated.
5. Take a walk
Since we are still advised to stay indoors, our usual 10,000 steps a day may not be possible. However, you may just walk around your house, and at least walk around as much as you can.
Everyone is hopeful that come Christmas day, the community quarantine all over the country will be lifted. But whether it has passed us completely or we are still advised to stay home, we cannot deny that this year, thousands of people will be without their loved ones. Coronavirus has already claimed the lives of the elderly, those with underlying conditions, and even the healthy and young.
This Christmas season is a time for reflection. We could be facing Noche Buena for the first time without someone we love. Or, if we look at the brighter side of things, you might have a big family get-together, with finally lifted lockdown rules.
The coronavirus crisis is making us appreciate the little things - this Christmas, virtual or otherwise, time with family will be more precious than usual.
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Hand exercises for tired hand
Our hands are made up of diverse networks of blood vessels, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and nerves. The nerves are perhaps the most important of all, because our nerves allow us to use our hands to feel, touch and most importantly, trigger movement so we can go on with our activities of daily living.
Today, computers play an integral part in our jobs and personal lives. It’s impossible to work without using our hands, and the long hours spent punching a keyboard can lead to aching hands. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with the pain you are experiencing
Hand activities for people who use keyboards and mouse on large portions of the day have shown to have many benefits. Some of them include: relieving pain and discomfort, activating blood circulation, and releasing muscle cramps, tension, and mental blocks.
Here are some effective hand exercises you can do on a regular basis if you spend a lot of time typing or using your mouse:
1. Shake it out
Shake your hands as if you are air drying them after washing them off. Shaking the wrist and hands out after sitting in the same place for a while is a perfect way to reintroduce blood flow and relieve sore joints
2. Wrist stretches
With your arm fully extended, palm facing forward, use your other hand to pull your fingers back gently towards you. Count 5 to 10 seconds before release. . The basic wrist stretch is an excellent way to alleviate stiff joints in the wrist, especially after long days of typing and writing.
3. Thumb touches Hold your hands outwards with your palms facing the ceiling. With your hand, slowly bring your thumb to touch the tip of every finger. This will help increase coordination in the thumb and forefingers, and also help to reintroduce blood flow back to the area
4. Thumb flex and extension Begin with your hands out in front of you and with your palms facing forward. Slowly extend the thumb across the palm until you feel a stretch. And then, hold this stretch for ten seconds, then release back to the starting position. This is a great way to target the thumb specifically, which can grow stiff during long work days.
5. Grip Strengthening Strengthening your grip is an excellent way to increase your overall hand and forearm strength. Grip strengthening can be done by holding a hand gripper or stress ball. Squeeze and release the gripper using all four fingers and thumb in rapid succession.
The normal range of motion for our wrist is 60 degrees of extension and flexion. Stretching is an important part of any healthy routine which can help to maintain our range of motion, increase your body's circulation, thereby helping us with movement and mobility.
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Face Mask vs Face Shield
Which is better - face mask or face shield? Face mask and face shield are both protective equipment that we use to prevent on getting the Coronavirus.
Face Mask is used to fully cover the nose and mouth and prevent fluid penetration. Masks should fit snuggly over the nose and mouth. For this reason, masks should have a flexible nose piece and can be secured to the head with string ties or elastic.
Face shield, on the other hand, is a personal protective equipment device that is used for protection of the facial area and associated mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) from splashes, sprays, and spatter of body fluids. The face shield should cover forehead, extend below chin and wrap around side of face.
Here are the advantages of both:
Face shield
● Protect a larger portion of the face however there is no tight seal around the mouth and nose to prevent inhalation or swallowing of tiny particles in the air.
● Can be disinfected easily
● No impact on vocalization
● Reusable and can be cleaned with soap and water or common disinfectants.
Face mask:
● Provides complete protection for the nose and mouth but does not cover the eyes.
● Readily available
Using both shield and mask together is more effective at preventing virus transmission than using only one or the other. Snug-fitting masks alone provide more protection compared to face shields alone. As encouraged by the IATF, both shield and mask should be worn in public.
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A partnership by Essensa and Medgate
Furthering its dedication to provide accessible health care to millions of Filipinos, Medgate Philippines Inc. is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with Essensa Naturale Inc., a family owned corporation whose primary business covers the sales and distribution of health and wellness, cosmetic, household and agricultural products under multi-level marketing (MLM) business model.
Essensa Naturale Inc. was incorporated and started its operations in 2009. The company carefully crafted and positioned its products as an alternative to commercially available products that are known to contain harmful chemicals, and this provided the thrust of promoting Organic Way of Living as an effective branding statement. Essensa has recently been accepted as member by the prestigious trade organization – Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
With Medgate extending its services, Essensa’s members will have 24/7 access to specialist doctors from Medgate. Essensa Naturale’s Inc. wants to become the leading and most preferred company in the health & wellness industry maximizing the synergy of multi-level marketing and traditional concept of distribution. Likewise, Medgate is moving towards wellness. Medgate believes that wellness begins with an attitude and the practice of doing the right things for good health. Medgate puts emphasis on the community by keeping them safe and by willing to support their families and communities.
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National Lung month
As we celebrate national lung month, it is important that we do not take our lungs for granted. Our lungs help us breathe and for the most part, keep us alive and well.
Our body has a defense system that is designed to protect our lungs and keep germs at bay. Yet, there are some important things you can do to reduce the chance of contracting lung disease. Here are some ways to keep your lungs healthy:
1. Do not smoke
Smoking destroys our lung tissue and causes our lungs to swell. Cigarette smoke can narrow the air passages and make breathing more difficult.
2. Avoid second hand smoke
Second hand smoke, also known as passive smoking, can also cause lung related illnesses. Second hand smoke, chemicals in our home and workplace can cause or worsen lung disease.
3. Protect yourself from air pollutants
Protect yourself from dangerous carcinogens in the air. Wear a face mask if you are in an environment with high amounts of dust or chemical fumes.
4. Exercise
The easiest way to open up your airways is through exercise. Jogging or walking can improve your health, wellness, and lung capacity.
According to, smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, there are other factors also involved. When you have a lung cancer in your family history, there is an increased chance that you may develop it too.
Regular check-ups can help avoid infections, even though you feel fine. This is especially true of lung disease, which sometimes goes undetected until it is serious.
It is important that we protect our lungs by following the steps above and of course, undergoing regular check-ups. Your healthcare provider will listen to your breathing and make sure that you are doing well.
Lung cancer. (2020, April 17). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from
Lung Cancer Causes: Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2020, from
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A health care innovation between Medgate and MedMonitor
Medgate Philippines and MedMonitor Health Plan Services announced a strategic partnership to further expand telemedicine’s presence here in the country.
In this time of pandemic, it heavily contributes to the peace of mind of employers and office administration in monitoring continuously employees since the MedMonitor Solution consists of a wearable device, a dashboard that serves as a central monitoring station and a mobile application. The device can be used to measure and monitor respiratory rate, heart rate, blood oxygen and body temperature. It can set predetermined alerts real time that will notify if a patient crosses a threshold.
“Partnering with MedMonitor ensures a complete customer journey to its members by providing accessible medical consultation.” said Ronaldo Estrella, Medgate’s Country Manager. “Together, this is one way we can provide millions of Filipinos the best health care they can ask for.”
The partnership between Medgate and MedMonitor will further expand Medgate’s telemedicine services in the country. With Covid-19 reshaping social and professional day-to-day lives, telemedicine has changed the way health care is being delivered. Telemedicine aims to help reduce staff exposure to ill persons, preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and help de-clog patient surges on medical facilities.
MedMonitor Health Plan Services provides safety for everyone in the workplace and school setting through real time and continuous monitoring to check temperature and symptoms. Through data analytics and machine learning, predictive models are identified to deliver sustainable solutions during COVID 19 and beyond.
On the other hand, Medgate offers high quality, convenient and confidential medical consultations over the phone. This means, that members have direct access to a qualified doctor for their daily health care needs, without visiting a clinic or a hospital. The Medgate Telemedicine Center, and the Medgate Partner Network integrate their work closely to guarantee comprehensive health care for the patient without the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 strain. All the doctors are licensed and certified to provide telemedicine consultations of the highest standard.
This partnership will surely help the lessen the transmission and the impact of COVID-19 to our communities.
For more information about this partnership, you may visit the following page:
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Home Exercises
In these stressful and trying times, being physically fit is hard achieve but that doesn't mean we can't. You can do exercises with or without equipment, and wherever you are, whether it's at home, in your kitchen, in your bedroom, or where you're actually sitting. Finding a way to adapt to these new conditions is vital to maintaining our health.
Here are some home exercises you can do to stay healthy and keep yourself in top shape:
1. Yoga
Yoga can be done almost anywhere. What you need to get going is a yoga mat, comfortable apparel, and a program. You can order the yoga mats and other supplies from various online sources for home delivery. Since the pandemic, there are multiple yoga classes available online.
2. Brisk Walking, Jogging, or Running
Such exercises are activity of moderate intensity which greatly aid the body in using oxygen. Such exercises also help the lungs, reduce blood pressure, improve endurance and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
3. Weight/resistance training
Most of us do not have an in-home gym, but you can still train at home using some purchased equipment online like dumbbells or resistance bands. If you do not want to spend the money, you can use common household products to make your own weights.
4. Stretching
Stretching exercises can use less oxygen and cause the heart to pump a little less, but the heart may still benefit from stretching and exercise strength.
Our present condition may have made it impossible for you to engage in your preferred types of exercise. While doing, it's natural to feel that working out isn't as fun, or even stressful. Do not beat yourself up. Start reflecting on how much better you would feel after you work out.
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Preparing yourself for the new normal
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused massive changes in our daily lives quickly and abruptly and our world has changed dramatically. Many people are lucky enough to adapt; others have a hard time coping with the new situation, which is causing an immense amount of stress.
All of this has made stress management important to people, families, workers and companies.
As we open our doors for the new normal, here are some ways on how you can prepare yourself physically and emotionally:
1. Observe the changes
They key part that was introduced to us are the changes in our lives. Working from home, remote education, cancellation of international flights, shut down of retail and restaurants are the major changes caused by COVID-19. With these changes, we can identify and create plans so we can continue with our lives.
2. Spend time with friends and family.
Stay constantly in touch with your loved ones by using the technology available. Allow your loved ones to share with you their thoughts and concerns and show empathy.
3. Talk about it.
This will help you alleviate tension and understand that others have the same thoughts and feelings that you have. Remember that all the feelings that we are undergoing right now are valid.
4. Care after yourself.
Take the most rest and workout you can find. Seek to continue any religious rituals or events centering on you. Set a schedule for yourself to avoid overworking.
5. Take one step at a time.
Returning to our usual task is a process. Break the job up into doable tasks. Complete that task first and then move on to the next one.
6. Stay positive and keep looking forward.
Days, eventually, will get better. We have to stay positive and keep up our long-term goals. We also have to realistically plan long-term if in case the pandemic will still be present in the coming months.
Last and most importantly,
7. Help, if you can.
We need to help each other to fight this pandemic. Donate blood, help prepare meals for the elderly, volunteer to clean up and rebuild a community, or even just simply educating the people within your network on the proper safety measures that should be practiced. We need to work together because we, as a people, are the only ones who can stop the spread of the virus.
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Road to a better LIFE foundation
Medgate, the leading telemedicine provider in the Philippines, announced today that it has partnered with Real LIFE Foundation, through Purple Cow and Etiqa PH, as they strive to provide accessible healthcare to Filipinos.
Purple Cow is a unique health plan that stands out in the field of Employee Benefits. Founded on August 8, 2008 by Tom Gotuaco, a former religion teacher, Purple Cow’s mission is to spread the good news of great healthcare to all SME. Today, Purple Cow is the largest intermediary for Etiqa PH in terms of number of SME accounts.
Purple Cow has adopted the Real Life Foundation’s scholarship program as its CSR for 2020, and beyond. This is in line with Purple Cow’s goal to support nation-building through health & education. By providing healthcare to Real Life Scholars, Purple Cow supports the Real Life Foundation’s efforts to “Change a Life. Change the Nation.”
“Both Medgate and Real LIFE Foundation firmly believe that a strong and healthy community offers far-reaching benefits to future generations and businesses”, said Ronaldo Estrella, Medgate’s Country Manager.
Real LIFE Foundation is a Philippine non-government organization that exists to honor God by serving and empowering the underprivileged youth of the Philippines through educational assistance, character formation, and leadership development.
The Real LIFE Foundation provides its scholars financial assistance for tuition and miscellaneous fees, transportation and meals, and other school related expenses. The scholars under the program are not only given monetary support, but are also plugged into LIFE groups where they are coached in the areas of leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence. Since its humble beginnings, the foundation has produced 482 university graduates from different parts of the nation. Today, they have over 900 scholars enrolled for this coming school year.
Medgate offers high quality, convenient and confidential medical consultations over the phone. This means, that members have direct access to a qualified doctor for their daily health care needs, without visiting a clinic or a hospital. The Medgate Telemedicine Center, and the Medgate Partner Network integrate their work closely to guarantee comprehensive health care for the patient. All the doctors are licensed and certified to provide telemedicine consultations of the highest standard.
To get involved, you may visit or
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Easy to cook meals for having a balanced diet
Good nutrition is vital to our health, particularly in periods when the immune system may need to fight back. Staying at home for a long period of time may increase our consumption of highly processed food, which are high in fats, sugars, and salt.
Reduced access to fresh food will compromise opportunities to eating properly for a balanced and diverse diet. However, we can still maintain a safe and balanced diet, even with minimal ingredients and pantry choices.
Here are easy to cook meals at home that are rich in vitamins and can increase our immune system:
1. Ginisang Ampalaya
Ginisang Ampalaya is one of the healthiest Filipino recipes. This meal is rich in nutrients and can help lower blood sugar levels.
2. Pinakbet
Pinakbet has different types of vegetables in one dish. This traditional dish is cooked by sautéing vegetables with oil, garlic, and onion. And sometimes, it may include pork or any choice of protein.
3. Lumpiang Ubod
Lumpiang Ubod is rich in vitamin A which helps in promoting good eye health and also boosts the immune system. Ingredients used in this dish are lettuce, sinkamas, carrot, spring onions, and ubod or edible coconut pith.
4. Enseladang Talong
Enseladang talong is the perfect side dish for heavier protein dishes such as grilled pork and fish. This dish is made up of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and a touch of bagoong.
5. Chicken Tinola
One of Tinola’s main ingredient, sayote, contains high amounts of folic acid – which is why it is highly advisable for pregnant moms. This dish can also be cooked with semi-ripened papaya and malunggay leaves, known to be a potent milk-boosting supplement.
6. Ginisang Munggo
This dish contains a mix of bitter melon and monggo beans. It has several health benefits like iron, magnesium, folate, thiamine, manganese, and phosphorus.
Aside from eating nutritious meal, you may still be active and remain healthy at home by taking some online exercise classes, dancing, playing active video games, jump ropes, and practicing muscle strength and balance training. Remain #HealthyatHome by following all these tips!
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How to properly discard your face mask after use
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the discarded medical face masks, along with disposable plastics and other trash, are “slowly becoming a frequent sighting in Manila Bay waters.” Single -use face masks are being washed up on the shores of Manila Bay due to its inappropriate disposal.
Because of the pandemic, the “new normal” made us wear a mask every time we go outside. To protect us on getting the Coronavirus, we make sure we equip ourselves with protective gears such as face mask, face shield, gloves, hand sanitizers and alcohol.
To help everyone on how to handle and dispose their medical mask, we came up with steps on how to remove and dispose a medical mask properly:
1. Remove the mask from behind the ears or head.
2. Keep the mask away from you and surfaces while removing it.
3. Fold the mask into small layers so that it won’t consume a lot of space in the bin. This will also ensure that the bacteria stay in the mask.
4. Discard the mask immediately after use preferably into a closed bin.
5. Wash your hands after discarding the mask.
Disposable face masks should be used once and thrown in the trash. You should also remove and replace masks when they become moist.
DENR appealed to Metro Manila residents to properly dispose used face masks and other medical wastes, or better yet use washable face masks. The steps mentioned should be practiced whenever we use and dispose medical mask to help spread the viruses and help the environment.
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Taking care of your overall wellbeing
Taking care of yourself is paramount to your success. It is never a bad time to focus on taking extra good care of yourself as your body and mind are your most valuable assets. They need to be kept in good shape to get through each day. You can find little ways to take care of yourself in just a few minutes a day, which don't eat into your busy schedule.
1. Drink water everyday
Hydration is important to vitality and your overall wellbeing. It helps to encourage digestion, increase energy, and, among other benefits, keep your skin clear.
2. Eat right
Eating unhealthy foods can contribute to weight gain. Foods with a high calorie content and saturated or “bad” fats can increase blood pressure and cholesterol. Eat fruits and vegetables to boost your energy, mood, and overall wellness.
3. Be active and exercise
A little exercise will go a long way to reducing stress. Even a short morning walk will give you energy and inspiration for the day ahead.
4. Meditation
Take a few moments to relax before you begin preparing for the day. Simply sit and focus on your breath for at least 1 to 5 minutes or preferably 15 to 20 min a day.
5. Get enough sleep
Not only is sleep good for the body but it is good for the mind as well. A well-rested body and mind can accomplish great things.
There are many factors that play a part in staying healthy. Remember to tune yourself up by doing some of the above-mentioned activities every day. Good health will, in effect, reduce the risk of developing certain conditions. Those include cardiac disease, stroke, cancer and injuries.
Learn what you can do to maintain your and your family’s health by availing the Medgate Unliconsultation Plan. With the plan, you won’t be needing to leave your homes to get medical consultations from a doctor.
Avail via:
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The risk and impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Philippines
The world has undergone a prolonged period of confusion and chaos triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has already (and still counting) affected the lives of peoples in nearly 200 countries globally.
Because of our proximity to China, the Philippines is at a far greater risk than other countries of experiencing increased cases of novel coronavirus infection. Currently, the Philippines has the second most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia as of Monday night, July 6, with a total of 46,333 infections.
What began as a health crisis has been transformed into a full-blown economic crisis that has affected the country. It has destroyed consumption activities and paralyzed the economy. To help our economy, the government decided to lift the lockdown in certain areas in the country. But since only companies that are involved in the supply chain of essential commodities are operational, the rest of the industries need to determine how they will respond to this unusual situation. The current business continuity plans might not be enough to resolve the rapidly evolving variables that COVID-19 introduces.
Let us help stop this pandemic by remaining vigilant and cautious at all times. Stay indoors when you do not have any important matter to attend to outside and when you do need to step outside, be prepared by wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing.
If you need to have a medical consultation, you can prevent contact with possible carriers by consulting with Medgate’s specialist doctors. You do not need to go outside and be at-risk. Grab your phones and call doc!
To consult with specialist doctors from Medgate, you may call the following numbers:
Manila: 02 8705 0700
Davao: 082 285 5111
Cebu: 032 265 5111
Dumaguete: 035 522 5111
Globe: 0917 536 2156
Smart: 0998 990 7541
Sun: 0925 714 7794
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Preparing for the rainy season (common diseases)
According to PAGASA, the climate of the country can be divided into two major seasons: (1) the rainy season, from June to November; and (2) the dry season, from December to May.
Our country is considered to be the victim of major typhoons, including the strongest to ever strike Asia, Yolanda. Preparation is crucial to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. The proactive steps you can take will not only save your home and family from catastrophic losses, but will also cushion your recovery in times of crisis.
Our country is considered to be the victim of major typhoons, including the strongest to ever strike Asia, Yolanda. Preparation is crucial to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. The proactive steps you can take will not only save your home and family from catastrophic losses, but will also cushion your recovery in times of crisis.
Being prepared is crucial in surviving another typhoon. Below are a few things you should be planning for the rainy season:
1. Create a kit for survival
a. Prepare a kit where you can store emergency necessities such as
i. Flashlight
ii. Extra batteries
iii. Fully-charged powerbank
iv. Canned Goods
v. Bottled water
vi. Medicines
vii. First aid kit
2. List down all the emergency numbers
3. Preparing for floods
Floods are common during rainy season. Make sure your essential furniture and appliances are stored away from the windows and doors to plan. Once the water rises, move electronics and furniture to higher parts of the house. Another trick is placing sandbags around the house to hold the floodwaters in bay.
Feel safe with Medgate.
Medgate Philippines is open 24/7, rain or shine, to accommodate all your health concerns. You may speak to a specialist doctors from Medgate anywhere, anytime, by just using your mobile phones!
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How to properly wear your face mask
The “new normal” made us wear a mask every time we go outside. To protect us on getting the coronavirus, we make sure we equip ourselves with protective gears such as face mask, face shield, gloves, hand sanitizers and alcohol.
As more people are using public transport to go back to work, World Health Organization (WHO) advices to always wear a face mask, whether it is surgical or non-surgical, when going outside for work or necessities.
Facemasks can help limit the spread of germs. When someone talks, coughs, or sneezes they may release tiny drops into the air that can infect others.
1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
2. Adjust the mask to your face without leaving any gaps on the sides.
3. Make sure that you cover your mouth, nose, and chin.
4. Avoid touching the mask.
5. Clean your hands before removing the mask.
6. Remove the mask by the straps behind the ears or head.
7. Pull the mask away from your face.
8.Store the mask in clean, resealable bag if it is not wet or dirty and you plan to re - use it.
9.Remove the mask by the straps when taking it out of the bag.
10.Wash the mask in soap or detergent.
11.Clean your hands after removing the mask.
1.Wash your hands before touching the mask.
2.Inspect the mask for any damages.
3.Determine which side of the mask is the top. The side of the mask that has a stiff bendable edge is the top and is meant to mold to the shape of your nose.
4.Ensure the colored - side faces outwards.
5.Make sure you cover your mouth, nose, and chin.
6.Adjust the mask to your face without leaving any gaps on the sides.
7.Avoid touching the mask.
8.Remove the mask from behind the ears or head.
9.Keep the mask away from you and surfaces while removing it.
10.Discard the mask immediately after use preferably into a closed bin.
11.Wash your hands after discarding the mask.
Disposable face masks should be used once and then thrown in the trash. You should also remove and replace masks when they become moist.
Always follow product instructions on use and storage of the mask, and procedures for how to put on and remove a mask.A fabric mask or surgical mask can protect you and other people around you.To protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID - 19, remember to maintain social distancing, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly, and avoid touching your face and mask.
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Fitness is fun
Due to the pandemic, we have mostly been indoors for almost 3 months. Beginning in early March, people across the country started limiting their movements as the coronavirus spread.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can make it difficult to maintain a physically active lifestyle.
A daily physical activity is necessary for all of us, regardless of age, to stay healthy. Compared to sitting around most of the time, moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with improved immune function. Regular physical activity can help to reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety (which many of us may feel because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
According to Kevin Steele, PhD, exercise physiologist and vice president of 24 Hour Fitness Centers, an effective fitness program has five components, all of which you can do at home:
• A warm-up
• A cardiovascular (aerobic) workout.
• Resistance (strength-building) exercises
• Flexibility moves
• A cooldown
A warm-up might be an easy walk on a treadmill or outside, or a slow pace on a stationary bike. Walk or pedal faster for the cardiovascular portion, do step aerobics with a video, or jump rope — whatever you enjoy that gets your heart rate up. The portion of the resistance may be as simple as squats, push-ups, and abdominal crunches.
Working out should never feel like a punishment. You should only be moving in such a way that your body feels comfortable and makes your well-being feel good. Finding the right exercise may take some trial and error but continuing to try is important. After you find that one workout you love and start getting more comfortable with exercise, you will open the door to more workouts. Should you have any medical conditions, it would be best to consult with your trusted Medgate doctor.
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Stay at home
We have been reminded by our peers, friends and loved ones on how to keep ourselves healthy during this Pandemic. All of us deal with different problems every day. However, we can control some things that can keep us away from engaging to more problems during this pandemic and one of which is staying home as much as we can to prevent acquiring and spreading the virus.
Since the start of the Pandemic, there has been changes in the work of things however, the guidelines being set to us by the World Health Organization has not been changed not that COVID-19 cases in the country is still increasing.
In times like this, we MUST take care of ourselves. If there is no need to leave your homes, you should stay indoors. Let us take care of each other by:
1. Wearing face masks or face shields
2. Maintaining physical distancing
3. Staying at home when need be
4. Avoiding crowded places
These things are controllable on this situation. It does not end educating oneself but sharing information to other people is one way to flatten the curve.
Remember, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. It protects you and everyone around you.
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Dengue Awareness Month
Most of us take care of ourselves to prevent the coronavirus from occurring. But when doing so, we may have forgotten that some diseases still needs our attention.
June is dengue awareness month. Dengue has been considered by Department of Health (DOH) as a year-round disease which incidents rises during rainy seasons.
Dengue is transmitted by the mosquitoes Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus, which are found throughout the world. It is a tropical disease caused by a virus carried these mosquitoes. This virus causes dengue fever, and there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is directed toward relief of the symptoms.
The virus can cause fever, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. Symptoms may include:
1. High Fever
2. Severe headaches
3. Pain behind the eyes and in the joints, muscles and/or bones
4. Abdominal Pain
5. Bleeding (such a nosebleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising, dark stools)
6. Rash over most of the body
7. Fatigue
8. Nausea
9. Vomiting
Fatalities from dengue can be avoided with early detection, which is why even a fever should not be ignored–especially for young children. The best way to prevent Dengue is to avoid areas with prone to mosquitos. Let us take necessary precautions by: Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellent, and controlling mosquitoes by cleaning stagnant water inside and outside your home.
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How To Take Care of Your Skin
Most of us is getting used to the “new normal” and working from home. Typically, before we get into our business and go to work or school, we get up, take a shower, wash our faces, and then eat breakfast. But because of the pandemic, most of us might have changed and skipped some of the usual routine.
Historically, a strong skincare practice in the Philippines has centered on treating skin with complicated rituals and harsh products.
Taking care of you skin should not be skipped even if circumstances may have changed.
Here are a few ways on how you can care for your skin:
1. Wash your face – It is best to wash your face with lukewarm water to prevent stripping the oil our skin needs.
2. Moisturize your skin – To avoid dry skin, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider moisturizer that contains SPF
3. Limit your time in the sun – Protect yourself from the sun by applying sunscreen generously. Avoid the sun between 10AM to 4PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
4. Avoid smoking – Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. It also damages collagen and elastin – the fiber that give your skin strength and elasticity.
5. Hydrate – While drinking water does not directly hydrate the skin, it helps all the body systems to function better.
6. Prioritize sleep – Getting enough sleep will ease anxiety and stress.
7. Have a daily vitamin routine – Taking care of your skin is one, but looking out for your immune system is another. Take vitamins that will boost your immune system and your overall health.
Take care of yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. During this hard time, it is important that we maintain a healthy lifestyle by having a balanced diet, doing an exercise that you love and enjoy, and taking care of your overall well-being.
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Can pets get COVID 19
A very small number of pets, including dogs and cats, have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Researchers and authorities are constantly learning about the new coronavirus, but it appears it can spread from people to animals and between animals (particularly cats) in some situations. The risk of human-to-animal transmission is still considered low but at this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.
Coronaviruses are common in several species of domestic and wild animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, camels, bats, and others. This is similar to the COVID-19 virus and can cause several common diseases in domestic animals. Some dogs are vaccinated for another species of coronavirus (Canine Coronavirus) as puppies. However, this vaccine does not protect for COVID-19.
It's important to remember that viruses can sometimes infect an animal but not become transmissible to others. Currently, there is no COVID-19 vaccine available for people or animals. If you want to be cautious, don’t let other people outside of your household handle your pets. Social distancing applies to the entire household and not just the human members.
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Pandemic, Epidemic, Outbreak
What is an Epidemic?
Bigger and spreading.
Epidemic refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected.
What is an Outbreak?
Small, but unusual.
An outbreak occurs when there is a sudden rise in the number of cases of a disease. It carries the same definition as an epidemic but is often used to describe a more limited geographic event.
What is a Pandemic?
International and out of control.
A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents
What is the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?
A pandemic is considered a global disease outbreak. It can cause social disruption, economic loss, and general hardship. It differs from an outbreak or epidemic because:
• It affects a wider geographical area, usually worldwide.
• It causes a higher number of deaths compared to an epidemic
• It infects a greater number of people
• It is often caused by a new virus or a strain of virus that has not circulated among people for a long time. The virus spreads quickly from person-to-person worldwide.
COVID-19 is declared a pandemic because of the speed at which it has spread globally.
The World Health Organization declares COVID-19 to be a controllable pandemic and continues to provide advice on precautionary ways to stop the spread of the virus.
Preparing for a pandemic:
• Make a list of important contacts for home, school, and work
• Prepare for disruption to the kinds of services that are most vulnerable in your community
• Ensure essential prescription drugs are on-hand
• Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they get sick.
• Buy and store supplies of food, water, medicine, and facemasks.
• Stay as healthy as you can by getting adequate rest, managing stress, eating right, and continuing to exercise.
If the World Health Organization declares a pandemic, what do you do? First, you should not panic. This can cause stress and anxiety to the people around you. Depending on the virus and fatality rate, many people who become infected may show few symptoms.
Staying ahead by making plans and being calm will help you to be ready for the next pandemic.
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Basic protective measures against COVID-19
COVID-19 has changed us a lot in a different way. How we live, how we approach people, how we go grocery shopping, and how we think. We became careful about our surroundings and how we communicate with people around us. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person by droplets. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and then these droplets lands in our mouths or nose, we can obtain the virus.
Currently, there is no vaccine that can prevent COVID-19. As long as there is no vaccine and the government may opt to lift any form of quarantine, we still need to practice protective measures to avoid obtaining COVID-19:
1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
2. When coughing, always cover your mouth and nose
Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
3. Wear a face mask every time you go out
Everyone should wear a face mask when they must go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
This does not only include the daily objects we touch such as: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks, but we also have to ensure disinfect objects that are being borrowed from us such as ID, pens, notebook, and even laptop.
5. Practice social distancing
To reduce the transmission of bacteria, we should distance ourselves from other people so that bacteria will not easily be transferred.
Prevention is always better than cure. As the number of people with COVID-19 continues to increase, everyone has a role to play in taking care of themselves and their loved ones and slowing the spread of the new coronavirus.
Seek medical care early if you or one of your family members have a fever, cough, body malaise, or difficulty in breathing.
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Everyday items we should clean and avoid
The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through coughing and sneezing by way of direct contact with an infected person's droplets, and touching virus-contaminated surfaces. The virus can survive on surfaces for hours or days.
Good thing for us, the virus can be killed by disinfectants.
Regularly washing and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in your home is an effective measure to reduce the risk of infection.
What are commonly touched surfaces?
Each home is different, but commonly touched surfaces include:
• Door handles
• Tables & Chairs
• Handrails
• Countertops• Toilets
• Light switches
• Gadgets
• Computers
• Toys
How can you disinfect your home?
If a surface in the house is dirty, first thing you need to do is to clean it with soap or detergent and water. Afterwards, use a disinfectant product containing alcohol (should be 70% solution) or bleach. Here are more tips for disinfecting surfaces in your home:
1. Make sure there’s good ventilation in the area where you are cleaning
2. Wear disposable gloves
3. Use a diluted household bleach solution, or an alcohol-based solution with at least 70% alcohol.
4. Follow instructions on the cleaning product’s label
5. Wash your hands when you are done.
Disinfecting your home should not only be done during a Pandemic but should be done regularly to protect you, the community and the family as well.
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Proper food preparation
The world is facing a pandemic called COVID-19. People are being told to stay at home to help reduce the transmission from person to another person. On the other hand, the enhanced community quarantine in the country has resulted in the closure of many establishments. For some people, working from home, teleworking, and online discussions and meetings are now normal practices.
By now, we maintain social distancing, head to the supermarket to do our routinely grocery shopping, and then hit our hands with a pinch of hand sanitizer on the way out, and then wash them again as soon as we get home and take care of our groceries.
Can the coronavirus exist on food?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at refrigerated or frozen temperatures. The biggest concern regarding the Coronavirus and food safety depends more on general hygiene of people handling it than the contamination of food.
To ensure that your food is safe, strict measures should always be followed such as separating keeping raw meat from other goods, always refrigerating perishable items, and cooking meat to the right temperatures.
For fruits and vegetables, make sure to wash them off as soon as possible before eating. Water alone is sufficient.
Cooking food properly will help make sure that any harmful bacteria are killed. It is very important to make sure that poultry, pork and meat products such as burgers, sausages are properly cooked all the way through.
1. If you are checking a burger, sausage, or a portion of pork, cut into the middle and check there is no pink meat left. The meat should also be steaming hot in the middle.
2. If you are checking a whole chicken, pierce the thickest part of the leg (between the drumstick and the thigh) with a clean knife until the juices run out. The juices and bones should not have any pink or red in them.
Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before preparing or eating food, as well as doing so at other times throughout the day like after you sneeze or use the bathroom. If we want this virus to end, we should practice good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.
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Activities you may do with your children while WFH
The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused countries all over the globe to implement a total lockdown. Many countries have closed schools and universities, and large gatherings of people have been stopped. As the cases of COVID-19 in our country rises, it has forced many employees to shift to remote work or work-from-home.
Clearly, most work-at-home parents count more time with the kids as a huge plus. Work-at-home families spend a lot of time together and allows you to be a part of your children's routines throughout the day.
Here's a definitive guide to doing work from home with children:
1. Bathroom
a. Bubble bath with waterproof toy animals and sponges.
b. Give pets a bath
c. Make paper boats and sail them
d. Let them help you clean the bathroom sink or floors
2. Kitchen
a. Involve them with mixing ingredients or kneading dough
b. Bake something that interests them
c. Prepare a meal with them.
d. Make an ice cream or a smoothie and serve it as a treat.
e. Let them help you clean the kitchen table and floors
3. Bedroom
a. Involve them in organizing and decluttering old clothes and toys
b. Remind and assist them while fixing their bed
4. Art
a. Provide them paper and pencils, markers, and crayons.
b. Let them draw animals, or even maps of places.
c. Try sponge painting as a new technique. Let them use their hands too, if paint is washable.
d. Make use of old boxes to build miniature houses, building, cars
5. Games
a. Learn new card games.
b. Play scrabble
c. Basketball with paper and trash bin
d. Play tick tack toe
e. Race toy cars
f. Play grocery store with canned goods from the pantry and fake money, if available.
g. Play mail: write letters, place in envelopes and take turns delivering them.
h. Play pin the tail on the donkey (with tape).
There’s a lot of things that you can do while you work from home with your kids. Family time is always the best time.
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The best foods for boosting your immune system
Our immune system defends us against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes, germs invade our body successfully and makes us sick.
As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise, taking daily precautions such as hand washing, maintaining a social distance of at least 2 meters, exercise, and getting enough sleep is key on boosting your immune system and lowering risk of infections. Maintaining a balanced diet will also help improve your immune system and give you an advantage.
Certain foods may be helpful for boosting the immune system and preventing colds and the flu. Here are foods that are high in vitamins and will give you the boost that your body needs:
1. Red and green bell peppers
Both red and green bell pepper are high in Vitamin C and acts as an antioxidant.
2. Fruits
Citrus fruits such as orange, strawberries, and lemon are also high in Vitamin C.
3. Garlic
Not only is garlic full of flavor, but it’s packed with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of heart disease.
4. Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be mixed in different foods. Just like the vitamins we get from the sun, mushrooms also contains a lot of Vitamin D.
5. Yogurt
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that helps our body to have a healthy gut and immune system.
6. Sunflower seed
Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E which also works as an antioxidant helps boost our immune system.
On your next grocery run, you may consider the list of food to boost your immune system most specially now during the pandemic.
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Protocols for entering your home
COVID-19 is spreading in different communities all across the globe. WHO and DOH urges everyone to stay home and practice social distancing. As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak. When you need to go out for important items like shopping for food or medical treatment, keep at least 2 meters away from a person. Do your part to avoid the spread by taking routine precautions including: constantly washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
Here are steps and protocols that you can do whenever someone leaves the house for necessities:
1. Before leaving the house, make sure to have a face mask on to avoid any droplets that has the COVID-19 virus and wear gloves for extra protection.
2. When you leave the house, practice social distancing
3. When you’re in public places, be responsible whenever you sneeze or cough.Cover your mouth and nose to avoid particles being spilled.
Before entering your home:
1. Before entering your home, ask your family members to open the gates and doors to avoid touching other surfaces.
2. Take off your shoes.
3. Go directly to the bathroom and take a bath
4. Make sure to change your clothes and separate it from your laundry
5. Dispose your face mask properly and wash your hands with alcohol after
6. Disinfect the items you brought outside including your personal items and private car.
Let us all be vigilant and be updated on the news about this Pandemic.
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Taking care of your mental health amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Last January 2020, the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new coronavirus disease which originated in the province of Hubei, China. All over the globe, public health authorities are doing their best on containing the disease from spreading.
Since the cases of COVID-19 are increasing rapidly in the country, our government decided to implement a community quarantine in the metro. A week after, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire Luzon area under 'enhanced community quarantine, which is effectively a total lockdown, restricting the movement of the population.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this time of crisis is generating stress in the population. People may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and can take a toll on our entire physical and mental well-being. Here are a few things you can do to support yourself:
1. Limit your exposure to different media coverage
Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that cause you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Get updates at specific times during the day once or twice.
2. Get the facts.
Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors.
3. Connect with others.
Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
4. Honor caretakers and healthcare workers
Support the people affected with COVID-19 in your community. Acknowledge the role that everyone plays to save lives and keep your loved ones safe.
5. Take Breaks
Take breaks from your daily routine. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. This will allow yourself to feel refreshed. Get plenty of sleep too.
The Department of Health (DOH) has a national crisis hotline to assist people with mental health concerns ranging from counseling to psychiatric emergencies and suicide prevention.
The hotline is operated by the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), which has trained respondents to properly deal with people with mental health issues 24/7.
The hotline can be reached through the following numbers:
0917-899-USAP (8727)
According to Duque, “the hotline aims to send a message to those with mental health issues that they are not alone. It's okay to not be okay.... There is hope. Recovery is possible and there should be no shame in getting help.”
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What can you do at home to stay well?
A lot of us are likely working from home due to the enhanced community quarantine imposed by the Philippine government to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a pandemic like COVID-19, our wellness is very important. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and sleeping well should still be observed. These are crucial in preserving your physical and mental health.
1. Eating a well-balanced diet
Our health and nutrition should be our priority. This lockdown presents a great time for maintaining and enhancing your health as you practice social distance. Healthy eating is especially necessary to keep the immune system in good condition. We should at least try to avoid eating processed food and prepare a freshly cooked meal.
Exercise is important for your overall healthy well-being, but it is vital to protect yourself from diseases. Every hour, make it a habit to stand-up and go around the house. This will also help you refocus on your work. The basics such as planks, pushups, squats, leg lifts, or bicycles and burpees for an easy workout that you may do before or after working, that will build strength and get your heart rate up.
Sleeping at the right time
Getting enough sleep will help you boost your immune system. Sleep is important as sleep-deprived people can have suppressed immunity, meaning that they're more at risk of catching viruses.
A daily dose of vitamin
Being nutrient-deficient can lower your immune function. Various micronutrients are essential for immunocompetence, particularly vitamins A, C, D, E, B2, B6, and B12, folic acid, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Staying hydrated
Drinking enough water is extremely important to keep your body healthy, and reduce the risk of infections. To be reminded to drink water, try placing your water bottle beside your working station.
Communicate with others
Reaching out to people and checking up on them is a good practice. Since we are unable to meet personally, talking virtually will help all parties maintain a healthy mental health. This is one way of telling each other that we are all in this together.
All these tips should be taken personally if we want the pandemic to stop. The most effective way to avoid the virus still remains; washing hands, not touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and practicing social distancing when you are out of the house to buy essential needs.
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Health Tips to prevent viruses
Viruses can be transmitted through close contact and several situations such as: living or working with people, sharing items, and giving care to another person. When a family member has a virus, this can cause distress. Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid bringing these illnesses into your home.
Here are a few health tips to help you and your family avoid and prevent viruses:
1. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap
2. Stay away from crowded places
3. When coughing, always cover your mouth
4. Wear a surgical mask
5. Cook meat properly and thoroughly
6. Drink plenty of water
7. Get enough sleep to boost your immune systemPrevention is key to staying healthy.
Getting enough sleep, washing hands often, keeping your home and work environments clean and sanitized can go a long way towards being able to enjoy your life.
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Advantages of a clean workstation
A safe and clean working environment increases efficiency and morale, so keeping on top of the office mess should be a priority.
When your workstation and desk is dirty and messy, it provides the perfect host for bacteria to flourish, it is essential to maintain a strict cleaning schedule to ensure you remain positive and safe at work.
Why do you need to clean your workstation?
1. You get more breathing space and storage.
2. It can reduce stress. Improving your desk hygiene can significantly reduce stress levels throughout the workplace. A cluttered desk can make focusing on projects difficult and distracting, raising your level of stress throughout the day.
3. You protect your health by cleaning and wiping down the desk surface. This will help you breathe safely.
4. Your productivity goes up immediately because now you can find things. You will become way more efficient.
5. Your work area is safer and protects you and others from unauthorized use of sensitive information.
6. You look professional. A clean desk from day one shows respect and portrays you as organized, efficient and in control.
7. The cumulative effect of many orderly work environments is happier people all around.
Have you been feeling cold recently? Eating lunch at your desk? An office desk can be a germ refuge. For the sake of your wellbeing, disinfect your desk and computer keyboard on a regular basis.
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Hand Washing techniques
Hand washing has a lot of benefits. It supports the statement prevention is better than cure. It is better to stop something bad from happening than it is to deal with it after it has happened.
Contaminated hands may spread a series of infectious diseases from one person to another. Washing your hands with soap regularly will help prevent the spread of the germs that cause these diseases like bacteria and viruses. Germs are expelled into the air as tiny droplets, as people sneeze or cough. If these droplets get through the air or something you touch and then you touch your mouth, eyes or nose without removing the germs by washing your face, you take the infection with you.
When you wash your hands, you eliminate germs and reduce illnesses.
When should you wash your hands?
1. Before eating or before cooking
2. Before and after attending to sick children or other family members.
3. Before, during and after preparing food
4. After using the bathroom
5. After handling animals
6. After smoking
How to wash your hands properly
1. Remove any hand or arm jewelry
2. Wet hands with water
3. Apply soap and cover entire surfaces of your hand
4. Use soap and running water
5. Rub hands palm to palm
6. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails
7. Washing should last for at least 20 seconds, preferably a minute.
8. Lather for 15 seconds
9. Rinse your hands well under warm running water
10. Wipe and dry your hands gently with a paper towel or clean towel.
11. Turn off the tap using the paper towel so that you do not recontaminate your hands.
The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from a variety of infectious diseases, such as common cold, is to wash your hands properly and teach your children to do the same. With this, you get less time off of work or school and reduce medical bills. Washing your hands not only prevents you from getting sick, but it also reduces the risk of infecting others.
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Boost your immune system
You can prevent yourself from getting any virus such as the Coronavirus by boosting your immune system. Improving the body’s resistance can help fight the virus when it enters the body.
A strong immune system will make our body more and more healthy, fight off diseases, especially infections and cancers. With changes in your diet and routine, you can ensure that your immune system is strong enough to protect you against the virus infection. From sleeping for 8 hours to walking in the sun to eating a balanced diet, the ways are simple but they can really be helpful if followed.
How can you achieve a healthy immune system?
1. Getting enough sleep and managing your stress - staying up too late can weaken your immune system
2. Having a healthy lifestyle - Exercise, active life, improving the living environment in harmony with nature helps the body to stay healthy and increase resistance.
3. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - having a healthy diet will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs.
4. Get enough sunlight - Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. When spending prolonged time in the hot sun, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
5. Avoid tobacco smoke - it undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.
6. Limit alcohol intake - excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections
7. Start eating mushrooms - One of the healthiest foods on the planet, mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients and minerals.
The Coronavirus can be hazardous when your immune system is weak but having a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will help prevent you from getting infected.
Follow these steps, make changes to your lifestyle, and stick to them.
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Benefits of wearing a surgical mask and how to properly dispose it
Surgical Masks were first introduced by doctors in the 1800s. They quickly became popular among a public eager to protect itself against the influenza pandemic of 1918.
Masks contain filters that prevent germs from being spread. A good quality surgical mask generally has a three-ply layer with the innermost white layer used for absorbing moisture, the middle layer is a filter, and outermost colored layer repels water.
For hygiene reasons, use disposable masks and replace them when they get moist. Masks can only be worn for a maximum of eight hours it is best to change them regularly so they can remain effective.
Here are the correct ways to wear and properly dispose of a mask.
Step 1:
Hold the mask in your ear loops and then place them over your ears. The colored part of the mask is the non-absorbent layer and should be faced outside. While the white part, which is the absorbent inner layer, should be faced towards you.
Step 2:
Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge so it takes the shape of your nose bridge.
Step 3:
After pinching the metal strip in your nose bridge, pull the bottom of the surgical mask over your mouth and chin. Ensuring that it covers your mouth and nose.
Step 4:
Once the mask is soiled, remove it by holding the ear loops. Masks can only be worn for a maximum of eight hours and it is best to change them regularly so they can remain effective.
Step 5:
Dispose the soiled mask into the biodegradable bins.
Step 6:
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after disposing the mask.
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An advantage of Telemedicine: No Disease Exposure
A lot of people now are very conscious about their health. They ensure they practice proper hygiene to avoid getting sick or yet acquire the Covid-19. It is ironic that people are now having doubts going to a medical facility whenever they feel sick because they are paranoid that they may get the virus.
One advantage of Telemedicine, where a patient can consult with a Physician through phone, is that there is no disease exposure. A virtual visit from a doctor is a great option for those who are worried that they might be affected and yet get treatment from their home and limit the spread of the virus.
Don’t panic if you’re not feeling well and are worried that you may have come in contact with an infected person. Since the symptoms of the Covid-19 and flu are very similar, it is very important to have your symptoms checked with a specialist doctor.
Taking advantage of a doctor's virtual visit may be a good first step towards getting and feeling better while reducing the spread of the virus. To consult with specialist doctors from Medgate, you may contact us through the following touchpoints:
Landline number:
Manila: 02 8705 0700
Davao: 082 285 5111
Cebu: 032 265 5111
Dumaguete: 035 522 5111
Globe: 0917 536 2156 / 0917 536 2715 / 0917 548 7673
Smart: 0998 990 7540 / 0998 990 7541 / 0998 990 7542 / 0998 843 2880
Sun: 0925 714 7794 / 0925 714 7793
Or by messaging us on Facebook:
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Healthy habits for your teeth - Oral Health Month
Did you know that our teeth are the hardest substance in our body? Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to our overall well-being.
The goal of proper oral hygiene is to remove or prevent formation and buildup of plaque and tartar, to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease. Our mouth is home to bacterial communities and in the process, these bacteria can cause tooth decay.
Oral health begins with clean teeth.
Keeping your teeth clean can cavities and prevent gum disease while keeping your tooth surfaces clean.
Here are some brushing basics for proper oral hygiene:
Brush your teeth twice or thrice a day - When brushing your teeth, don’t rush. Take about two minutes to do a thorough job.
Use proper equipment - Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably.
Keep your equipment clean - Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing.
Know when to replace your toothbrush - Invest in a new toothbrush every three months.
Floss after brushing - You can't reach the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line with a toothbrush - That's why daily flossing is important.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
Make sure you set an appointment with your dentist regularly. Remember, early detection and treatment of problems with your gums, teeth and mouth can help ensure a lifetime of good oral health and a smiling face throughout the day.
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Healthy New Year's resolution - Having a healthy diet this new year
It has been a practice that every new year we set and follow a resolution. This resolution is a testament of change. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make. The key is not to set a New Year’s resolution at all - it’s setting the right ones and not waiting for a new year to start fresh.
Many new year's resolutions revolve around health, and for good reason. Having a healthy physical and mental health is the foundation of achieving any other goals, both personal and professional, so improving your health and dedicating time, energy and resources is the best investment you can make.
Here are a few ways you can do to improve your overall health this 2020:
Water is the primary building block of cells. We need at least 8 glasses of water every to keep us hydrated. It also helps enhance physical performance and it also increases brain function.
Pick an activity you like: walking, dancing, swimming, running, jumping rope or whatever fits your lifestyle, as long as you’re sweating, it will be beneficial for you. Find something that you will do willingly. Exercise relieves stress, sharpens your mind and improves your physical health.
Having a balanced diet
A balanced diet is important because your organs and tissues need proper nutrition to work effectively. Without good nutrition, your body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance. Always remember that have a good balance of your go, grow and glow foods.
Getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep helps your brain to be sharper and helps boost your mood.
Regular doctor’s appointment
All the said tips are a good way to stay healthy, but in order for you to remain healthy, you also need to have your regular doctor’s appointment. Early intervention and prevention is key to being healthy. With Medgate, this is possible. You may consult with specialist doctors right at the comfort of your home. Skip the hassle, skip the traffic. Our doctor is just a phone call away.
A resolution won’t be successful if it’s not sustainable. A sustainable resolution exists and can help you build the foundation for a long, healthy, happy life. A blessed and a happy new year!
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Gift yourself this holiday
Holidays are a good time for our taste buds, but for your waistline, this is not exactly an ideal season. Maintaining to stay healthy is a struggle, then comes the holiday season. Holidays revolves around fun, family, friends, gifts, and most importantly, food.
Be guided following these simple steps to stay healthy during the holiday season.
1. Eat Carefully
Holiday foods can be high in calories and low in nutrition. When you eat, sit back and really enjoy the flavors of your favorite holiday. Pay attention to the food's taste, flavor and texture.
2. Avoid overeating
Digestive disorders, including indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), can result from food excesses. The best way to avoid these digestive problems is to moderate your dietary intake, and knowing when you've had enough is the best way to do that. Try to eat slowly as it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to let you know that you are full.
3. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated will help you kill a potential hangover and fight off any germs that come your way. This also increases metabolism and helps get rid of toxins. An average person should have at least eight 2 liters glasses of water.
4. Prioritize your exercise
Plan your workout regimen around your holiday schedule. Staying active will keep your immune system strong
These are just a few tips you can do to enjoy your holidays in a healthy way. Balance is the key to staying healthy during the holiday season. You can enjoy festive foods while still being mindful about your health when you engage and indulge mindfully and moderately.
This holiday season can be very busy. Whenever you’re feeling sick, always remember that Medgate is here to give you the care you deserve, wherever, whenever. Skip the hassle and traffic by consulting with specialist doctors from Medgate at the comfort of your home. Stay healthy and Happy holidays!
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World Diabetes Day 2019: Family and Diabetes
World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2019 is Family and Diabetes. The goal is to raise awareness of the effect diabetes has on the family and support the network of those affected, as well as to encourage the role of the family in the management, treatment, prevention and education of diabetes
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood sugar. It is about the body’s ability (or lack of it) to produce the required amount of a hormone called insulin to control glucose levels in the blood. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the cells to be stored or used for energy
Different types of diabetes can occur and the treatment of the condition depends on the type of diabetes a person has. There are mainly three types of diabetes:
1. Type 1 Diabetes
Occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. About 10% of people who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects the way the body uses insulin. While the body still makes insulin, the cells in the body do not respond to it as effectively as they once did.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Occurs in women during pregnancy when the body become less sensitive to insulin.
General Symptoms
Diabetes symptoms can be caused by rising blood sugar. Additionally, other symptoms as dizziness, headache, mood changes, fast heartbeat can be due to low blood sugar.
Some of the general symptoms of diabetes may include:
●Increased appetite
●Increased thirst
●Weight loss
●Frequent unrination
●Blurry vision
●Extreme fatigue
●Sores that won't heal
Symptoms in men
Among general diabetes symptoms, men with diabetes may have lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction (ED), and poor muscle strength.
Symptoms in women
Women with diabetes may also have symptoms such as infections of the urinary tract, yeast infections, and hot, itchy skin.
It is very important for people with diabetes to maintain good control of their condition to help reduce and avoid long-term complications. Over the past few years, there have been huge advances in this area for easier detection of the disease. Development work, however, is vitally important to ensure that people with the condition will live a life as normal as possible.
Some types of diabetes like type 1 are caused by factors beyond the persons control. If any of your loved ones have diabetes, support them in all things possible so they may be encouraged to a well, active and healthy lifestyle.
Most importantly, do not hesitate to consult with Medgate's doctors about diabetes. Early prevention is the key to a healthy, long-term life.
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World Mental Health Day
Mental illness is a condition that impacts how you believe, feel, behave, or connect to other individuals or your environment. It's very prevalent. Many individuals had one or know somebody who's got one. Some mental illnesses and mental health problems are social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, drug addiction, and personality disorders.
Many variables lead to mental health issues, including: biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry and life experiences, such as trauma and abuse. Are you unsure if someone is living with mental health problems? Whether someone is developing a mental health problem cannot be reliably told; however, experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:
1. Mood swings
2. Having low or no energy
3. Sleep problems (too much or too little)
4. Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
5. Keeping problems to themselves
6. Inability to perform daily tasks
7. Thinking of harming their self or others
This 2019, World Mental Health Day focuses on suicide prevention with an objective to raise awareness on the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds, someone dies of suicide. The WHO states that close to 800 000, people dies by suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.
Most suicidal people give their intentions with warning signs or signals. Recognizing these warning signs is the best way to avoid suicide if you think a friend or family member is suicidal. You can play a part in preventing suicide by pointing out the options, demonstrating you care, and involving a doctor or psychologist.
Mental health problems are common and help is available. People with mental health problems can get better.
For anyone with public with mental health concerns, you may contact the NCMH Crisis Hotline at 09178998727.
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Color Blindness in men
Color Blindness is more common in men.
Color blindness occurs when a person cannot distinguish between certain colors. Majority of people with deficient color vision is hereditary and has been inherited from their mother.
Men are much more likely to be color blind than women because the genes responsible for the most common, inherited color blindness are the X chromosome. Men have only one X chromosome while females have two X chromosomes.
Different types of color blindness are:
- Red-green color blindness, the most common;
- Followed by blue-yellow color blindness;
- And a complete absence of color vision.
However, total color blindness is rare. Most blind people can see things as clearly as others, but they cannot completely see red, green, nor blue color.
There are varying degrees of color blindness. Some people with mild color deficiency can normally see colors in good light, but they have difficulty in dim light. Others are unable to distinguish certain colors in any light. The most severe form of color blindness, in which everything is seen in shades of gray, is unusual. Color blindness usually affects both eyes equally and remains stable throughout life.
Color blindness has no cure. However, individuals with red-green color blindness may be able to use a unique set of lenses to assist them perceive colors more precisely. This is not available locally but these lenses can only be used outdoors under bright light circumstances. Visual aids were also created to assist individuals deal with color blindness.
The Ishihara Color Test is the most common test of red-green color blindness. The experiment comprises of a sequence of colored squares, each of which includes a set of squares in distinct colors and dimensions called Ishihara tables. There are points within the ring that are obviously noticeable to those with ordinary color vision but unseen or hard to see for those with red-green blindness.
Take the Ishihara Color Blindness Test now to find out if you are color blind. Be aware that the display settings of your screen can affect your test result.
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PCOS among Women
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or also known as PCOS is a disorder in the endocrine system that affects women during their reproductive years. This is when cysts, a small fluid-filled bags, develop in the ovary. It starts in the teen years of a female and can be mild or severe.
Women with PCOS may experience irregular menstrual cycle, increased sex hormone levels, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity. Apart from having cysts in the ovaries, symptoms of PCOS may include:
➔ Sleep apnea
➔ Infertility
➔ Oily skin, and dandruff
➔ Dark patches of skin
➔ Fatigue
➔ Pelvic pain
➔ Depression and anxiety
➔ Decreased libido
A diet that meets the nutritional needs of a person, maintains a healthy weight and promotes good insulin levels can help women with PCOS feel better. Since insulin levels plays an important role on PCOS management, a diet that meets the nutritional needs of a person, maintaining a healthy weight and promoting good insulin levels should be considered. Here are some foods you can take for your diet:
Whole Foods
Whole foods are free of artificial sugars, hormones and preservatives. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are foods that you can add to your diet.
Balancing Carbs and Protein
Carbohydrates and protein affect your energy levels as well as your hormone levels. Eating protein stimulates insulin in your body. Focus on having enough good protein such as fish, tofu, and chicken.
Increasing Iron Intake
Some women with PCOS have severe bleeding during their period. This can lead to iron deficiency or anemia. You may add iron-rich foods to your diet such as spinach, eggs and broccoli.
Increasing Magnesium Intake
Some foods that are rich in magnesium are almonds, cashews, spinach, and bananas.
Being Physically Active
Getting certain hours of exercise a week is enough to improve your insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS.
Lifestyle changes and a balanced diet can be key factors on reducing impact of PCOS. Before changing and following a different diet, consulting a doctor is a must. With Medgate, you may enjoy hassle-free consultations with Filipino specialist doctors. Call Doc today!
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Obesity Prevention Awareness Week
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a chronic disease that affects kids, teenagers and adults. This occurs when an individual has excess weight or body fat that may affect his health. Usually, a doctor may suggest an individual has obesity if they have an elevated Body Mass Index (BMI). You can have an elevated BMI and be healthy, or a regular BMI be unhealthy. Still, BMI is a good place to begin assessing whether your weight is problematic, waist to hip ratio is another factor that the doctor can refer to. Young people usually become overweight or obese because in combination with poor eating habits, they don't get enough physical activity. Genetics and lifestyle contribute to the weight status of a child as well.
People who are overweight or obese are much more likely to develop serious conditions including:
● Heart disease
● Stroke
● Diabetes
● Bone and Joint Disease
● Breast Cancer
● Colon Cancer
Obesity can also affect the quality of life of a person and their relationship with their family and friends. This can lead to psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. It can also lead to a number of day-to-day problems, such as breathlessness, increased sweating, physical activity difficulties, and joint or back pain.
Improving eating practices and physical activity in adults play a crucial role in obesity prevention. Some of the things you can do are:
● Regularly weighing yourself
● Avoiding foods that are high in fat or calories
● Avoid eating sweet and salty food
● Being physically active
For children, there are ways that parents can help prevent obesity and support healthy child growth. Parents can do many things to assist their kids on attaining and maintaining a good weight:
● Be conscious of the growth of your child
● Provide low-calorie nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables
● Help your kids get the recommended amount of physical activity every day. Exercise may include brisk walking, bicycle riding, swimming, and etc.
● Limit their juice intake and make sure they get the adequate amount of water everyday
Obesity is a result of biopsychological factors, which includes the individual's genetic predisposition and current hormonal conditions.
Start by taking small, gradual steps toward healthy eating like adding salad to dinner every night, or swapping French fries for steamed vegetables. As small changes become a habit, you can continue adding more.
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Medgate Philippines recognized with Healthcare Leadership Award
Stavros Athanasiou, President & Group Chief Financial Officer, Medgate Asia (left) and Chetan Wakalkar, Group Director, Indira Group of Institutes (right)
Medgate Philippines was recognized with the Healthcare Leadership Award by CMO Asia for its continuous innovation and providing accessible healthcare to millions of Filipinos. Medgate has been operating in the Philippines for 3 years and is partnered with best in class companies, such as Allianz, AXA, Generali, Intellicare (part of Fullerton Health), and many more.
“We at Medgate Philippines are very happy to see our efforts to provide accessible healthcare to Filipinos being singled out for excellence. Telemedicine saves time and reduces costs significantly for insurance companies, employers, and end users, while delivering high quality medical consultations.” Said Stavros Athanasiou, Medgate Philippines’ President.
Medgate offers 24/7 medical consultations with a highly skilled team of Filipino telemedical assistants and licensed physicians that may be reached through multiple touch points. Other features include laboratory results interpretations, issuance of e-treatment plans and e-prescriptions, and delivery of medicines.
Medgate was founded almost 20 years ago in Switzerland. Medgate is a leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, India and the Philippines. It has forged partnerships with global organizations such as Swisscom, Mubadala and Aetna to bring its brand of telemedicine to the world.
CMO Asia is a premium forum that brings elite marketers, advertising, and creative honchos together. The program provides an intimate atmosphere for top marketing experts, organizations and advisors to recognize and reward excellence. CMO Asia was introduced in 2010 to plug a marketing community vacuum. This is a peer-to-peer networking body that seeks to link all marketers across industries on a common platform.
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Your HOUSE to accessible quality health care
The biggest challenges that a Filipino families face are poverty and a lack of family planning. a lack of family planning and poverty. There are a lot of young adults who are trying to break free from their families’ long cycle of poverty. Filipinos are having a hard time surviving in such difficult conditions, and more and more are falling into extreme poverty. With this issue, Filipino parents can’t make enough money to support their families which in turn, children must be taken out of school to work in harsh conditions.
For hundreds of Filipino youth who are impoverished, abused, and trafficked, providing them with an education scholarship is not enough to give them a better life. HOUSE Foundation have made it their mission to educate, employ, and empower at-risk youth to give them a second start in life.
HELPING OURSELVES PROGRAM (HOP) by HOUSE Foundation is a unique curriculum that they were able to develop for over eight years. Their approach focuses on four pillars:
1. Academic Education
2. Values Education
3. Work Skills Training
4. Work Ethics Training
We are dedicated to contributing towards the betterment of the society. For every purchase of our Medgate Unlimited Plan, a percentage of proceeds will go to HOUSE Foundation to help fund many of its programs. With this, HOUSE foundation will be able to take in more young adults into their program and give them a brighter future. Here’s where all your money will go:
HOUSE foundation and Messy Bessy are also affiliated with one another. When you purchase a Messy Bessy product, all its proceeds go directly to HOUSE Foundation. They also welcome volunteers who would be interested in tutoring high school and college students in various subjects. You may contact HOUSE foundation through this number: (632)-844-5133.
A small effort comes a long way. Purchase a Medgate Unlimited Plan today to help the Filipino Youth by giving them a fighting chance at having a better future. Medgate is your HOUSE to accessible quality health care.
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Family Planning Month
Annually, the month of August has been considered as the Family Planning Month. Family planning is the method of safely and effectively arranging the birth spacing of children, as well as the number of children desired in the family. Such planning is pertinent for Filipino families to attain a better quality of life.
To date, many Filipino families still lack access to modern family planning. In order to address the growing need for modern family planning, the Department of Health (DOH) developed the National Family Planning Program. The program aims to promote reproductive health and rights of Filipinos by giving them accessible information and services for safe, legal, and effective modern family planning methods. Examples of these methods include counseling, education, and contraception.
Aside from the basic interventions that the program provides, the National Family Planning Program also gives a great amount of importance to the health and well-being of mothers and their children, due to the risks that may accompany pregnancy. By providing mothers with information and services on family planning, problems such as unintended pregnancies, early childbearing, unsafe abortion, and death from early and late childbearing may be prevented. Ultimately, modern methods on family planning may decrease maternal deaths, infant deaths, teenage pregnancies, and induced abortion cases, which are problems currently rampant in the country.
Despite placing a great deal of importance to the health and well-being of women and children, family planning still encourages the participation of each member of the family in deciding their way of life that will suit their needs and health.
With proper Family Planning,
The mother can:
1. Quickly restore her strength after pregnancy and childbirth;
2. Prepare for each pregnancy;
3. Have more time for her family and herself; and
4. Have more time to take care of her children.
The father can:
1. Accumulate for the education and needs of his children; and
2. Have more time for his family
The baby and the children have more time for:
1. Breastfeeding;
2. Vaccination;
3. Proper nutrition;
4. Dental care;
5. Adequate education; and
6. Love and care
As mentioned earlier, one of the family planning methods include contraception. Such method is available at pharmacies at affordable rates; or at companies that provide contraceptives to their employees. Meanwhile, the cost of ligation, vasectomy or IUD assumptions - some basic forms of contraception - is covered by PhilHealth's benefit package. For more information about family planning, consult your doctor, nurse, or midwife at the clinic, health center or hospital nearest you.
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Nutrition Month 2019
Nutrition Month is a campaign held annually every July, as mandated by Presidential Decree no. 491, also known as the Nutrition Act of the Philippines. The National Nutrition Council (NNC) leads the observance of National Nutrition Month together with this year’s theme: "Kumain nang wasto at maging aktibo...push natin 'to!".
The objective of this campaign is to bring awareness among the Filipinos about the important role of nutrition to an individual's overall health and wellness and to promote the Philippine Plan of Action (PPAN) 2017-2022, which is to address malnutrition in the country. The PPAN 2017-2022 is a results-based plan of action to stem the progression and improve Filipino problems on nutrition such as wasting, stunting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity.
The purpose of this campaign is to help everyone to become aware of the importance of having good nutrition and having a healthy eating plan. A healthy eating plan has been proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases, heart diseases, and keeping your body healthy.
In line with this year’s theme, we have assembled a few tips that can help you in getting a nutritious diet that promotes your overall health:
1. Eat fruits and vegetables. Eating a wide assortment of healthy whole foods like fruits and vegetables helps ensure that you get all of the health-promoting benefits that foods can offer.
2. Limit fast and processed foods. Processed foods undergo some form of processing before consumption. More highly, processed foods have generally undergone industrial processing and are often higher in energy and lower in micronutrients.
3. Portion Control. Control the size of your food by eating from a smaller plate. It has been proven that the size of your dinnerware can affect how much you eat. Eating from a large plate can make your portion look smaller, while eating from a small plate can make it look bigger.
4. Be active. Doing 150 minutes of physical activity weekly like walking, riding a bicycle, running and dancing raises your heart rate and helps you release lots of sweat, which flushes cholesterol out of the body.
Individuals can do this by being aware of how to eat a balanced diet and how to read nutrition facts labels.
Some of these tips will help you keep your portion sizes reasonable, while others will help you add nutrients to your diet or adapt to something new. When followed, they’ll have a big impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a huge change in your habits.
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Country Bankers Insurance Group partners with Medgate
(From left) Eileen Enobal, Senior Assistant Vice President for Underwriting & Micro Insurance, Country Bankers Insurance Group;, Menchie Alcoran, Assistant Vice President for Marketing, Country Bankers Insurance Group; Luisito Bautista, Vice President for Marketing, Country Bankers Insurance Group; Geraldine Desiderio-Garcia, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Country Bankers Insurance Group; Stavros Athanasiou, President & Group Chief Financial Officer, Medgate Philippines; Juan Rabell Mendoza, Senior Assistant Vice President for Business Development, Country Bankers Insurance Group; Ronaldo Estrella, Country Manager, Medgate Philippines Ces Alinea, Vice President for Client Relations Management, Medgate Philippines.
Medgate, the leading telemedicine provider in the Philippines, announced today that it has partnered with Country Bankers Insurance Group (CBIG) to further expand its presence here in the country.
CBIG is composed of two companies - Country Bankers Life Insurance Corporation(CBLIC) and Country Bankers Insurance Corporation(CBIC), which provides life and non life insurance plans, respectively. CBIG traces its roots from the prestigious group of Rural Bankers hailing from all regions of the Philippines, founded by the late Don Jose E. Desiderio, Sr., and Don Alfredo L. Montelibano Sr., both well - known rural bankers, almost 60 years ago.
CBIG concentrated its main thrust in the countryside, servicing small business entrepreneurs, industrialists, farmers, fishermen, and many others who seldom have the opportunity to avail of insurance coverage.
"Partnering with Country Bankers Insurance Group to deliver telemedicine transformation will allow us to provide accessible health care for everyone." said Ronaldo Estrella, Medgate’s Country Manager. "Together, we can provide millions of Filipinos the best health care they can ask for."
True to their catchphrase, "Kapag Sigurado, Hindi Kabado", CBIG will bundle Medgate with their Classic Benefit, CB Kalinga and Alalay Sa Buhay (ASB) plans for life products and Personal Accident (PA) plan for non-life product, with options for limited or unlimited consultations.
On the other hand, Medgate offers high quality, convenient and confidential medical consultations over the phone. This means, that members have direct access to a qualified doctor for their daily health care needs, without visiting a clinic or a hospital. The Medgate Telemedicine Center, and the Medgate Partner Network integrate their work closely to guarantee comprehensive health care for the patient. All the doctors are licensed and certified to provide telemedicine consultations of the highest standard.
"We believe that the best way to reach and help more Filipinos is by partnering with a company who through the years, remained competitive with product innovations," Estrella added.
Medgate offers 24 / 7 medical consultation over the phone and has call back option for patients who want to schedule their consultation.Medgate has 24 / 7 telephone lines with multiple contact points and follows International guidelines and protocols followed by their specialist doctors.
By offering their products and services, Medgate, together with CBIG, will provide a new experience for Filipinos. They strive to give Filipinos innovative medical consultation that will help their well - being.
For more information, you may visit the following pages:
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Dengue Awareness Month
June was declared Dengue Awareness Month (Proclamation No. 1204) since 1998 to highlight how prevention and control of dengue would require collaborative efforts among national and local government agencies as well as private NGOs.
Dengue has been considered by Department of Health (DOH) as a year-round disease which incidents rises during rainy seasons. This is the fastest spreading insect-carrier disease in the world endemic in 100 countries. As per DOH, the goal of Dengue awareness month is to reduce the burden of dengue disease with an objective to reduce dengue morbidity by at least 25% by 2022.
Dengue is transmitted by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found throughout the world. It is a tropical disease caused by a virus carried these mosquitoes. This virus causes dengue fever, and there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is directed toward relief of the symptoms.
The virus can cause fever, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. Symptoms may include:
1. High Fever
2. Severe headaches
3. Pain behind the eyes and in the joints, muscles and/or bones
4. Abdominal Pain
5. Bleeding (such a nosebleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising, dark stools)
6. Rash over most of the body
7. Fatigue
8. Nausea
9. Vomiting
Sometimes, symptoms can be mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Symptoms of dengue fever are generally mild in younger children and those who have the disease for the first time. However, serious problems can develop. Severe dengue can be life-threatening within a few hours and often requires hospitalization.
The best way to prevent Dengue is avoiding mosquito bites. Let’s take necessary precautions by: Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellent, and controlling mosquitoes by cleaning stagnant water inside and outside your home.
Controlling and preventing dengue fever are essential steps for keeping people healthy. Know the symptoms of Dengue by asking specialist doctors from Medgate, anywhere, anytime.
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Road Safety Month
Presidential Proclamation No. 115-A declares the month of May as Road Safety Month to promote road safety and raise awareness about hazards we can encounter while driving and commuting. Road safety is vital to us.
In Metro Manila, most traffic crash happen in Quezon City, Manila, and Makati since these are the busiest cities we have in the metro. A lot of people lose their life or get injured in road accidents due to the lack of awareness about traffic rules and the behavior of disregarding them. In order to lessen the traffic accidents, awareness to traffic rules is imperative.
Remember to:
1. Check your vehicles regularly.
2. Know your routes before going on a trip.
3. Don’t text while driving.
4. Don’t speed.
5. Always use seat belts
6. And most especially, remember the acronym BLOWBAGETS
At Medgate, you can consult with a specialist doctor trained in telemedicine wherever you are. If you’re not feeling well during your trip or while on the road, never hesitate to look out for your health and Call Doc! We are open 24/7 to give you hassle-free consultations, anywhere, anytime…not just while driving.
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Celebrating World Health Day 2019
World Health Day is fast approaching. This event is meant to raise awareness and for the improvement of global health. Below are the things you need to know for this occasion.
What is World Health Day?
World Health Day is celebrated annually every 7th day of April. It’s objective is to raise awareness and address the diseases that may impact the population. Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) chooses a specific health-related theme that will focus on in-media campaigns all year long.
For 2019, the theme for World Health Day is Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.
Universal Health means that people have access to comprehensive quality health care, without any kind of discrimination, whenever, wherever. It’s not just guaranteeing that everyone is covered, it’s also ensuring them that they have access to health care anytime they need them.
It is possible to handle and tackle every task when the person has good health to address all the activities; one’s well-being is paramount to achieve all the activities accurately without any problem.
Having knowledge to certain diseases a person has is one, but having access to a remedy is another. Everyone has a part to play - it’s time to do yours! Spark the conversation and contribute to the advocacy that may help the world achieve universal health.
In Medgate, we aim to provide accessible healthcare to everyone all over the country with 24/7 consultation to Filipino doctors using your phones. Get your hassle-free medical consultation now and receive the care you deserve!
Download the app to learn more:
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Have you had your Cervical Cancer Vaccine?
Cervical Cancer has taken the lives of numerous women around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women. In 2018, cervical cancer had approximately 570,000 new cases. The mortality rate is staggering – 90% of patients in low and middle income countries die.
According to the Philippines’ Department of Health, cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer amongst women with roughly 7,277 new cases with 3,807 deaths expected to occur each year.
The Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) is the primary cause of Cervical cancer.
HPV is commonly acquired through sexual intercourse, but in some rare instances, HPV can also be acquired through other means.
Most patients with cervical patients have had some, or a combination of the following:
• Multiple sexual partners
• Sexual partner/s (regular or casual) who themselves had several sexual partners
• Sexual partner/s who is infected with human papilloma virus
• First sexual intercourse at a very early age, possibly 15 or 16 years old
Watch out for these symptoms
• Irregular, intermenstrual (between periods) or abnormal vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse
• Back, leg or pelvic pain
• Fatigue
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Vaginal discomfort or odorous discharge
• A single swollen leg
How do we prevent Cervical Cancer?
• See your Doctor. The first step is to have a regular check-up with your gynecologist who will most likely do a Papanicolaou smear or more commonly known as Pap smear/ test. A Pap smear is a procedure to test for cervical cancer. It involves the collection of cells from your cervix for analysis. Early detection is the key to survival. Most of the medical organizations suggest that women should have a Pap smear at the age of 21.
• Vaccine. Getting an HPV vaccine is another option for cervical cancer prevention. Vaccine is most effective before a girl becomes sexually active
• Practice safe sex. It’s best if you are always protected. Condoms are proven effective in reducing the risk of cervical cancer.
• Don’t smoke. Smoking has never been good for anyone’s health. Smoking and HPV predisposes a woman to cervical cancer.
When in doubt, it is still best to consult your doctor. Always remember prevention is better than cure. For any health concerns, you may call Medgate doctors 24/7, even on holidays.
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How's your heart?
Have you had a heart check-up lately? The cheesiest lines from your favorite movie may not be enough for a heart in the pinkest of health. Don’t miss out on the chance of prolonging your life and enjoy spending quality time with your family and friends According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ”Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) take the lives of 17.9 million people every year, 31% of all global deaths.”. Some of the factors that trigger CVDs are the use of tobacco, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption.
If you are one of those people who consumes 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day, consumes big, oily, fatty burgers with French fries on the side and hates walking or running, drinks alcohol at parties from dusk ’til dawn, then you’re a prime candidate to become cardio vascular disease patient. It’s not too late. Change your lifestyle, now!.
Here are some helpful tips from "Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!" .
Eat 5. “Can’t eat that…”, “Nope, can’t eat that either”. Stop worrying about the food you can’t eat. Focus, instead on having at least five servings of fruits and vegetables in your meals. Fruits and vegetables are also good to munch on, in between meals. Just focus on consuming more fruits and vegetables, rather that those you are forbidden to eat.
Move 10. Add at least 10 minutes of physical activity on top of what you’re doing every day. Studies have shown that a 30-minute (or more) physical movement a day can do wonders in preventing Cardiovascular Diseases. Fact is, a 10-minute walk or run or stair climbing is a small commitment that would make a huge difference in your life. But of course, always seek clearance from your doctor if you can do such activities.
Sleep 8. Remember when we’re kids, our parents would force us to sleep to keep us healthy? Welcome to the adult world where sleep is a reward and not a punishment. Do you remember your parents telling you to turn off the TV while watching your favorite cartoon because you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep? Yes, that’s right. You wish that’s the case now. In today’s fast-paced environment, It may be difficult to get that elusive 8-hour sleep cycle, but it’s important that we exert conscious efforts to do so. According to Mayo Clinic, “each person's sleep needs vary slightly, but eight is a good number to shoot for.”.
Want to know more about how to be careful with your heart? Call Megdate’s friendly Filipino doctors any time of the day or night, for more information. Medgate, giving you the care your deserve.
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Medgate joins forces with RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG to enter the German market for telemedicine – Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint company with RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG has been signed.
• Medgate and RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on extensive collaboration in the growing telemedicine market
• Foundation of Medgate Germany, in which RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG will hold a majority of 51 percent; Medgate's stake will be 49 percent
• Medgate Germany will offer digital medical consultations via video or phone with a smartphone app for easy, fast, personal and digital access to doctors
The transaction also complements RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG's cross-sector campus concept, which combines outpatient and inpatient services such as preventive care, aftercare, treatment, rehabilitation and nursing, and now offers a pre-existing telemedicine treatment program
• Medgate and RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG are jointly examining interests in Medgate Holding AG(which represents Medgate’s international activities) and / or one of its subsidiaries, or the possible foundation of another joint company with RHÖNKLINIKUM AG
Under the agreement, Medgate plans to provide telemedicine and digital medical services in Germany.According to the memorandum of understanding, RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG intends to acquire a 51 percent stake in the new company("Medgate Germany") based in Germany.
In future, patients with urgent or general medical concerns will receive advice and treatment by phone, Internet or video link from Medgate Germany (powered by RHÖN - KLINIKUM) in the framework of the legal regulations in force in Germany.Among other things, Medgate Germany wants to help to close the increasing gaps in medical care, especially in rural areas, and to offer up - to - date medical services in line with modern consumer behavior.The technical requirements, such as a smartphone or a computer equipped with a camera, are already available in most households. These advanced services address the requirements of an increasingly digital society and its needs for efficient, convenient and above all, rapid health care wherever patients are located.
Medgate Germany aims for market leadership
With Medgate Germany, the two companies are aiming for market leadership in the area of telemedicine and digital medical services in the Federal Republic of Germany.Medgate is pleased to have found an established partner in RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG for its market entry in Germany.Dr.Andy Fischer, CEO of Medgate said: "We share the vision of developing efficient and high-quality healthcare concepts thanks to digital resources, and making them accessible for the long term to all persons with health insurance in Germany. The potential in Germany is huge. In Switzerland, almost every resident with health insurance has access to telemedicine services and these services are used frequently. The new legislative situation now makes a similar development possible in Germany as well. RHÖN-KLINIKUM AG is the ideal partner for such an innovation project", according to Fischer.
Stephan Holzinger, CEO of RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG said: "Medgate Germany - powered by RHÖNKLINIKUM - has the potential to become a significant additional business for our company. As a leading innovator in healthcare, we already offer telemedicine services. With Medgate Germany, we will expand these services significantly and continue the digital transformation of RHÖNKLINIKUM AG that I initiated. We are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by digitization to provide patients with excellent medical services that will save them from long journeys and unnecessary waiting times, and make medical consultations, diagnoses and treatment faster, more convenient and better in quality. Of course, we will continue to be a broad-based, highquality hospital group - but with these telemedicine services, we are adding considerable value to our supply chain. With Medgate, we have found an experienced partner that shares our requirements for high quality and safety in telemedicine services."
Relaxing the ban on remote treatment increases the demand for telemedicine
Medgate and RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG are convinced that with the gradual relaxation of the ban on remote treatment, the demand for such services will increase significantly in Germany in the years to come.In May 2018, the German Medical Assembly(annual meeting of the German Medical Association) approved an amendment to the(model) professional code for physicians working in Germany, and relaxed the previous legal prohibition of exclusive remote treatment.Many federal states have since followed.
In addition to the founding of Medgate Germany, RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG’s stake in Medgate Holding AG and / or one of its subsidiaries will be examined, or the founding of another joint company in which the intellectual property and know - how necessary for the services of Medgate Germany will be bundled and developed further; the necessary IT solutions will also be realized.
Media contact
Cédric Berset, Director Marketing, Communications &Sales
Medgate, Postfach, 4020 Basel
Phone + 41 61 377 88 10, Mobile + 41 79 455 20 41, Fax + 41 61 377 88 20,
About Medgate
Medgate uses digital healthcare solutions to bring the doctor to where he or she is needed.The focus is on the well - being of the patient and the benefits for society.Medgate was founded in 1999 and currently has more than 330 employees in Switzerland, including more than 100 physicians.Medgate has operated its Tele Clinic since 2000.This is now the largest telemedicine center in Europe, and has considerable experience and expertise in the field of telemedicine.For local consultations, Medgate’s patients can attend the Medgate Mini Clinics, as well as the doctors and clinics in Medgate’s partner network.In addition, Medgate successfully exports its concept to other countries, and has a presence in diverse locations such as the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, India and Slovakia.
RHÖN - KLINIKUM AG is one of the largest healthcare providers in Germany.The clinic group provides excellent medical care with direct links to universities and research institutes.More than 830, 000 patients are treated annually by about 16, 700 employees at five locations: Zentralklinik Bad Berka, Campus Bad Neustadt, Klinikum Frankfurt(Oder), Universitätsklinikum Giessen and Universitätsklinikum Marburg.With its RHÖN Campus plan, the company is currently implementing a novel and pioneering project that raises cross - sector medical care in rural areas to a new level of excellence and is geared to the growing needs of patients.
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How to eat after the Holidays
It’s that time of the year when we feast on mouth-watering meals. Christmas parties, birthdays and year-end celebrations are but a few reasons to eat. We are supposed to be enjoying each and every bite however, you are thinking about the holiday pounds you’ll potentially gain. Worry no more!Allow yourself to indulge and satisfy your cravings without putting on that extra weight. Here are some tips to cleanse and rid your body of unwanted elements , especially after the holiday feasts.
1. Savor it
Food restriction, in some instances, can back fire and may lead to overeating. According to Mayo Clinic , “The more you enjoy the food you eat, the greater the likelihood that you'll be satisfied with less.”
2. Focus on portions
Avoiding your mother’s signature dish will be hard to do especially if it’s sinigang or adobo or caldereta. Instead of going through an agonizing ordeal, just keep in mind the amount of food you’re munching. Small frequent meals are often far better than full size or considerably huge portions in one go. Eat what you like but take small portions . That’s the key.
3. Keep it simple
Set realistic goals. Include exercise at least once or twice a week in your busy calendar. Easy, right? . If you have the means, go to the gym or better yet, create your own routine at home. Lessening, if not totally eliminating sweet products or your favorite soda, would be helpful as well.
4. Incorporate movement
Instead of just surfing the web, why not play that video and make some cool moves to get you going. Or how about a 30-minute walk in the park with your pet. These could help you burn some calories. Who knows? You might just find a friend or two.
5. Reflect and repeat
Consistency is what you need. Stick to your goals and never let anything or anyone get in the way. A good way of monitoring your progress is documenting your activities and improvements. It will help you distinguish which activity best fits you so you’ll know which ones to do over and over again.
But before you do any modifications to your current physical activity and food intake, it’s still best to consult a specialist. Medgate has friendly Filipino doctors for any health concerns. They are available 24/7, so you can call them any time. What are you waiting for? Pick up that phone, call Medgate and enjoy your holiday food trip – minus the worry.
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Why bananas?
Still remember your parents asking you to eat bananas whenever you have an upset stomach? You have probably asked yourself, “why bananas?”.. You may also be wondering why many people include bananas in their daily dietary intake. Banana is a well-loved fruit. It’s readily available almost anywhere in the world. We love its colors as well as its taste. As an added bonus, Bananas give us 10-12% of our daily fiber needs.
According to Ritika Samaddar, regional head, dietetics, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi says, “One medium banana delivers just 100 calories and is loaded with a particular kind of fiber called resistant starch (RS), which not just fills you up, but also keeps those damaging cravings away, boosts your metabolism, and keeps constipation at bay too.”
Some of the vitamins bananas contain are vitamin B6, which help produce red blood cells and vitamin C, an important vitamin group that supports brain health. Vitamin C also produces serotonin, known as “happy chemical”.
Pratima Mishra, clinical nutritionist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ahmedabad say “Bananas are a happy fruit as they have tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in the body, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.”
So, if in case you are stressed and grumpy, worry not. Bananas are your happy and healthy alternatives to chocolates that give you natural sugars like sucrose, fructose and glucose that can liven up your day.
Bananas varies from unripe , ripe or fully brown bananas and choosing what’s best for your will depend on your health needs and preference. Here are some quick tips for you.
Underripe banana
-less sugar
-good for people with diabetes
Over ripe bananas
-easier to digest
-better for people with indigestion problem
Fully brown bananas
-full of antioxidants
One word of caution though: We need to take into consideration bananas have high potassium content and will not be good for people with medical conditions.
To know which specific medical conditions to look out for or for any health concerns, you can always talk to Medgate’s doctors, available for you 24/7.
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Want to boost your health? Travel!
If laughter is the best medicine, travelling could not be that far behind. When’s the last time you travelled? No, no, no. Not business travels. Let’s talk about the type where you literally disconnect from your work and get away from life’s vicious cycle called, “routine”. Now, if you can combine travelling and laughter, then you’re a winner. Let’s look at some health benefits travelling can give you.
Travelling makes you healthier.
Experts say that travelling is good for your health. This is according to the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association. They conducted a research and concluded that travelling has a wide array of health benefits. Something that would rival mental exercises such as puzzles, in terms of physical and cognitive development. According to the study, the benefits are both immediate and long term.
1. After only a day or two, 89% of respondents saw significant drops in stress.
2. Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.
3. Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20% higher risk of death and about a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.
To level the playing field, the researchers did consider and factored in conditions pertaining to income levels and the participants’ overall health.
Travelling is a stress buster
With the hassles of travelling set aside, a well-planned and well executed itinerary, will prove to be one of the best things you’ve ever done. A poll conducted by the U.S. Travel Association discovered that travel, prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The study also found that 86% of those who travel are more satisfied with their outlook on life, compared to the 75% who do not travel. Not only does traveling enrich your brain power, it also strengthens your heart health. The Framingham Heart Study found that those who didn’t take a vacation for several years were more likely to suffer from heart attacks, than those who traveled annually. Once you get away from your work and usual daily routine, stress and anxiety typically goes down, which in turn, decreases the strain on your heart and brain. The outcome is a rested mind, body and an overall better mood, which can linger for a few weeks post-travel, according to one study.
Travel is exercise
If you’re travelling with that world food expo as your main motivation, that may be a different story. But in general, travelling is far better than trying to burn calories while sitting on your office chair. Travelling will force you to walk, run or even engage yourself in paddle boarding, hiking and cycling. A trip to a theme park may require you to walk a few thousand steps or a beach activity can rack you up a sweat. Bottomline, you have more physical activity while travelling than switching your “couch potato” mode on while working in the office. So there you go, travelling has proven benefits for your physical, mental and even spiritual wellbeing. You can gain a lot from switching off that computer, disconnecting from your email and basically turning off your phone and head off to a place you’ve never been to.
If in case you have health or wellness questions you need to address while preparing yourself for that much awaited adventure, remember that you have Medgate doctors at your disposal, 24 hours a day. Just text or call 0917-5362156; 0998-9907540; 0925-7147794.
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Manage Your Cholesterol Trough Lifestyle Changes
Have you ever wondered why the world is so concerned about high cholesterol levels ? For one, it increases your risk of having heart disease and heart attacks. You may not know it, but your current cholesterol levels may already be jump starting a disease process in your heart. Better have yourself checked. There are many ways to manage cholesterol levels. One such option is taking anti-cholesterol medications, that are usually synthesized in the liver. This is the most convenient way, but depending on your overall health, you could see various side effects such as muscle pain, liver damage, increased blood sugar and some neurological symptoms.
The other way, is to make modifications to your lifestyle. But before doing that, make sure you have the appropriate clearance from your doctor. Here are some things you may want to change in your lifestyle that could help manage your cholesterol. If you’re already under medication, these changes could make the outcome a better one.
Eat Heart-Healthy Food
Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, spinach, oysters and tofu, to name a few, help reduce blood pressure and plasma triglyceride levels. It is also recommended to increase intake of soluble fiber to help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Food such as oatmeal, apples, beans, avocados and sweet potatoes are good sources of soluble fibers. Whey protein is another food that can help you manage your cholesterol. Studies have suggested that whey protein has beneficial effects on lipid profiles by lowering triglyceride levels.
Countless trials and studies have shown that the right amount and frequency of exercise can do wonders to your body. One of which is increasing your HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the “good cholesterol” in your body, through moderate physical activity such as brisk walking.
Stop Smoking
A former colleague, during his motivational talk about quitting smoking, once said, “Don’t quit, quitting”. And that’s absolutely right. Don’t quit in trying to quit smoking because the benefits of no smoking far outweighs the brief pleasure it brings. Higher concentrations of good cholesterols have consistently been observed in people who stopped smoking. Quitting smoking also helps lower your blood pressure, while blood circulation improves. As a result, you lessen your risk of heart disease/ attack.
Lose weight
Carrying even an extra load on your body can contribute to your day-to-day struggles. You’ll feel down. You don’t want to move. Your overall physical strength will diminish over time. Being overweight or obese tends to increase your bad cholesterol. Appropriate diet and exercise can help you achieve the ideal weight that is fit for your lifestyle and body.
Before going through lifestyles changes or modifications, please consult a doctor first to determine if it is right for your needs. Medgate’s doctors are available for you 24/7 should you have any healthcare or wellness questions.
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Cold vs Allergies How To Tell The Difference
Tomorrow’s a work day, but you’re not feeling well. Another ‘tardy’ remark on your records is out of the question, let alone taking a leave-of-absence for a checkup. You’re coughing, sneezing, your nose is stuffy, you have nasal congestion and so much more. What would you do? Right! You Google and then self-medicate, sleep and hope that tomorrow, everything will be alright. That’s a hit or miss thing because you’re not even sure if what you have is a cold or allergy. So, what’s the difference?
What is a cold?
-If you have allergies or prone to allergies, you may have higher chances of catching a cold.
-Colds are passed on from person to person, when droplets containing the virus is spread by an infected host through coughing or sneezing.
-Usually, the average duration for a cold is about a week. Anything more than that, your cold virus may have triggered or caused a more concerning infection – usually in the upper respiratory tract.
-Some severe form of colds may also bring along headache, body pain or fever.
-You will usually have coughing, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose and occasional sore throat.
How to prevent colds?
-Frequent and proper handwashing.
-Disinfect common areas or equipment, especially if someone in your living or working zone has colds.
-Don’t share straws, drinking glasses, spoons, forks or anything that might facilitate the transfer of the cold virus.
-Use disposable wipes or tissues when sneezing and immediately discard once used.
-Eat well, eat right and exercise.
What are allergies?
We all have immune systems and it’s a wonderful thing. It protects us from anything harmful like bacteria, viruses and others that might make us ill. However, in some instances, our immune system reacts adversely to some external or internal triggers, known as allergens. When this happens, our body releases a chemical known as histamines – these chemicals are the cause of allergy symptoms. Common reactions are rashes, inflammation and other minor irritations. In some cases, a severe reaction like anaphylactic shock, can be life threatening.
Allergies and colds share several symptoms, that is why people are sometimes confused if they have colds or allergies. Here are some commonalities.
-Sore throat
-Runny nose
-Nasal congestion
-Watery eyes
How to prevent allergies?
You can keep a log of possible allergens and track your reactions so you can avoid them. A doctor can help you identify these triggers so you can get appropriate medical intervention.
How to tell the difference between allergies and colds?
Since colds and allergies share a lot of common symptoms, it’s best to get familiar with the ones that are unique in each condition.
You have higher chances of getting aches and pains in colds, as well as fever and sore throat. Allergies will most likely cause skin rashes, itchy eyes and wheezing.
You may also consider the time of the year. Though you can get colds in summer, it is more prevalent during the wet season, where viruses have the right conditions to thrive and multiply. Another way to differentiate colds and allergies is the duration of symptoms. Colds usually last for a few days to a week, while allergies will linger until the allergen is removed or you get specific treatment. Early intervention is critical. But who wants to go to the doctor’s office for a common cold where traffic and long waiting time are expected? If you have access to telemedicine services, it’s best you consult over the telephone or via video calling mobile apps. The same can be said for allergies, except for severe cases, it’s best to see your doctor face-to-face.
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Three Health Issues for Millennials
The registered voters in the Philippines last 2016 are aged 17 to 34, while 53% of the working-age population are millennials. That is just a snapshot of how they rule today’s world. The Western narrative says millennials love watching TVs, streaming videos, texting, mobile music, going out with friends, being online a whole lot more and are used to easy access. This same narrative describes millennials as those who put premium on their value and worth over stability and prefer empowerment with a gray lines separating entitlement. A lot more has been said about these generation, but one thing is certain – millennials have health concerns too.
These health concerns can be attributed to a lifestyle backed by technology, resulting in sedentary lifestyles. Instead of dropping by markets or town plazas, to walk and find the items they need, millennials prefer online shopping. Click and wait – that’s the game. Gatherings are also finding its way to video calls and social media, thereby eliminating travelling, or any type of physical activity. Yes, it’s convenient, but it can also be detrimental to one’s health if left unchecked. Surveys show that millennials prefer fast food, sodas, street food, fried chicken over healthy food intake due to their mobile routine. These, combined with a lifestyle that lacks physical activity, can lead to various health issues. Here are three health issues amongst millennials.
1. Obesity – Every three out of ten Filipino adults are obese. It’s a growing epidemic in the Philippines, according to Dr. Rosa Allyn Sy , an endocrinologist (doctor who specializes in diseases related to hormones). With less physical activity, high consumption of “junk food” and a lifestyle centered on technology, millennials are prone to being obese with increasing prevalence as they grow old. Obesity is costly. It is related to an array of noncommunicable diseases ranging from Type 2 diabetes to cardiovascular diseases leading to stroke to certain types of cancers. Obesity can also contribute, directly and indirectly, to an increased rate of absence from work, due to illness and poor health. Social lifestyles like excessive consumption of alcohol, poor dietary quality and erratic sleep patterns can also contribute to the development of obesity. It’s been said that prevention is better than cure. So, start moving – literally. Walking at least 30 minutes a day will do a lot of wonders for you. Water intake is key. The World Health organization recommends that we drink at least 3.7 liters of water per day to address hydration, fluid loss and various activities. Choose organic, healthy salads over French fries, burgers and sodas. There are many diet and exercise programs out there that can be helpful or dangerous, depending on your approach. There are so many factors to consider in choosing the right diet and exercise program. That is why, It is best you consult a doctor to see what’s best for you.
2. Stress – Obesity and stress are like husbands and wives. They go hand in hand. Stress, undoubtedly is one huge factor contributing to obesity, according to Dr. Edgardo Tolentino , the president of the Philippine Psychiatric Association. Studies have shown that our brains are hard wired, through evolution, to seek food that will comfort us in times of stress – thus the term “stress eating”. Stress can also contribute to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Other common effects of stress according to the Mayo clinic are headache, muscle pain, chest pain, fatigue, change in sex drive, upset stomach and sleep problems. Stress has effects on your mood too. It can manifest as anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation and focus, feeling of being overwhelmed, irritability or anger, sadness or depression. While overeating, drug or alcohol abuse, tobacco use, social withdrawal and lack of physical activity are some effects of stress on your behavior. If you have any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you consider stress management activities like regular exercise, relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, setting aside time for hobbies like reading a book or socializing with friend and families. However, if you’re not sure about stress and how to manage it, better talk to a doctor to help you map out the best course of action.
Mental Health – According to the Department of Health, one out of every five Filipino adults have some form of mental illness. In the Philippines, mental health is either laughed upon or simply dismissed. This stigma and dismissiveness make it difficult for patients to even talk about mental illness. Cost is another factor to consider. Most insurance model in the Philippines do not cover mental health or anything remotely related to it, while psychiatrists ask for a hefty sum just for one consultation. That is why many of us are forced to just shrug it off and go on with our lives. With the recent passage of the Philippine Mental Health Law, or Republic Act 11036, we now have a platform to bring the stigma of mental health into the open, as well as provide access to appropriate healthcare professionals. One common mental illness is depression, which can be linked to a wide array of factors. According to the World Health Organization , depression is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in things and activities one would normally enjoy, inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. Depression, like most mental illness, is treatable. Family support is crucial as well as open communication. Therapies and other medical intervention are also helpful. Talk to someone you trust or reach out to your doctor if you feel you’re suffering from mental illness.
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Back-To-School Blues
It’s back-to-school season once again. Exciting time for kids but not necessarily for you. Adults around the world go through a lot of stress this time of year. Asking themselves if the kids have complete school supplies. Will they be able to fit in? What about their “baon”? Will I give them money or prepare their “baon” myself? These are common scenarios during school days that we learn to handle as we go along. However, there are other serious concerns that we need to keep an eye on. Here are some of them and a few tips to address these back-to-school worries.
Unhealthy Eating
Kids have multiple access to unhealthy food. Getting used to sweets and processed food will be a hard habit to break, if left unchecked. If there are no school policies regarding the type of food being served in the canteen, talk to the officers, rally other parents, be vocal in meetings or even start a petition for the school to have, and implement policies geared towards healthy eating. If one is already in place, make sure it’s being implemented. Talk. Have a heart to heart discussion with the little ones and tell them how important healthy eating habits are. You can also prepare their “baon” so you are 100% sure they have nothing but healthy food to consume.
Disease Transmission
If we could put kids in a bubble to protect them from harmful viruses and germs, we would. But that wouldn’t be fun at all, right? The good thing is, our immune system naturally protects us from common diseases. But there are cases where immunity takes a back seat, and this is where healthy eating comes in. If kids eat right, they are more likely to develop a better, stronger immune system. Vaccinations, vitamins and nutritional supplements can also help in protecting children from common diseases such colds or flu. It is also important that we teach children proper hygiene, like hand washing, a sure way to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Bullying is a serious issue and can be, at most times, difficult to detect. A healthy, open communication within the household is crucial in determining if a child is being bullied. Common signs include explainable injuries; lost or destroyed clothing, books; changes in eating habits, like skipping meals or binge eating; difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares; declining grades, loss of interest in school works or not wanting to go to school; avoidance of social situations; feeling helpless or poor self-esteem. Learn to read your child’s body language or see if they avoid eye contact. A child’s silence may be more telling. If there’s suspicion of bullying, arrange meetings with people who have frequent interactions with the child. Teachers, classmates, friends are a few examples. Find out where the bullying occurs so you could ask help from the most appropriate people. Support children the best way you can and emphasize that you believe in them and you’re always ready to help.
Lack of Exercise
In this day of technological advancements, children are often seen sitting, interacting with their smart phones or tablets. This inactivity could take a heavy toll on them. It has been proven that proper exercise, along with a well-balanced diet can lead to a healthy adult life. Encourage play, it’s a form of exercise. Insert as much physical activity as you can in children’s daily routine. If the destination is nearby, walk. Involve kids in household chores. The sooner a habit of physical activity is built, the easier it will be for children to disengage themselves from a sedentary lifestyle.
These back-to-school blues can ruin a perfectly good day. But remember, prevention is key. For you to prevent and manage all all these issues, you must know what to look for and know how to execute your plan. Medgate is the best source of information about your health concerns. Call them now to talk to any one of their specialist doctors!
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June - Let's talk about men's health
Richard Gomez, Aga Muhlach, and Ian Veneracion. Apart from their stunningly good looks, what else do they have in common? All of them have breached that dreaded 40-year-old mark. Not 40 yet? Continue reading because this is for you too. What you do in your 20’s and 30’s, will be reaped when you get to 40 – good or bad, it’s up to you. If you’re 40’ish, you can still change the course of your health for the better. Here are some tips you can do before and after 40, for a healthier you.
Choose what you eat.
Always go for green, leafy salads over processed food. Watch your rice intake as this is a huge source of sugar (remember, carbs turn into sugar in your body). Go for water instead of powdered juices. And please, skip the unli-rice and unli-iced tea. Prepare your own food if you have time and gravitate towards lean, light colored meat and fish. Eat slow – yes, you’ve read it right. Eating fast skips one step in the digestive process, where you chew your food fine enough before swallowing. Bigger pieces of food reaching your stomach means your body will have a harder time digesting it. This creates inefficiency in digestion, leading to poor nutrient absorption.
Focus on flexibility.
Yes, you’re young, you’re flexible. But 20 – 30 years from now, you won’t be able to touch your toes even with knees bent. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 40, flexibility is something you can’t do without. Just imagine your activities of daily living like putting on your clothes or shoes, taking a bath, reaching overhead. These activities can be like completing a course in American Ninja Warrior if you’re not flexible enough. Focus on a workout routine that puts premium on flexibility. This gives your body a full workout without putting too much stress on your joints. While young, maintain flexible muscles in preparation for your 40’ish adventures.
Quit smoking.
If you’re smoking, quit. Don’t quit, quitting as the saying goes. Countless studies have pointed to smoking as a predisposing factor to deadly diseases like lung cancer, emphysema and other lung conditions. If you’re in your 20’s and reading this, you have more time to quit. If you’re 40 now, then stop and feel the difference. It’s not too late.
Sleep well.
Sleeping well is fast becoming a privilege. With traffic and work taking the bulk of our day, it’s no wonder many Filipinos, are lacking sleep both in number of hours and quality. The sooner you form a healthy sleep pattern, the sooner you’ll be able to achieve quality sleep. Exercise, eating right and kicking that tobacco out of your system, will all help in achieving this goal.
Now you know what to focus on, all you need is an expert to guide you. For any health concerns, call Medgate's telemedicine center so you can have a consultation with one of their specialist doctors. They will attend to your health concerns any time of the day or night.
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Common Summer Diseases And How To Avoid Them
It’s the fiesta season! But don’t let common summer diseases ruin your day. According to the DOH, the five most common summer diseases are sunburn, flu, sore eyes, stomach ailments and skin diseases.
Sunburns are fairly common during festivals that peak during the month of May. Revelers are exposed under the grueling heat with their skins exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. Try to avoid outdoor activities while the sun is at its peak between 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If festivities are expected during this time, make sure you wear proper eye protection like sunglasses, loose clothing and apply sun screen at least 30 minutes before going out. It is also critical that you are properly hydrated. Keep a bottle of water by your side – this could save a life.
Flu-like symptoms abound during summer specially in the festive season of May, where flowers and pollens are plentiful. Mother nature can be unpredictable so watch out for colds and coughs. A hot and humid day can suddenly turn into a cold downpour. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough to help prevent the spread of viruses and please stay at home if you feel sick. Frequent hand washing can help prevent the spread of flu viruses.
The summer heat helps in speeding up the spread of bacteria in pre-prepared food leading to spoilage. You may not notice it, but the food you’re eating may not be fit for consumption. Vomiting and diarrhea are two common outcomes after consuming contaminated or spoiled food. Watch out for signs of dehydration due to unabated loss of body fluid. It’s good to have oral rehydration solutions just in case. If you’re the designated food handler, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the food you’ll serve.
Conjunctivitis, or more commonly known as “sore eyes” is not your typical eye irritation. If left untreated, it could lead to serious complications. It could be due to a bacteria or virus that easily spreads during this season where the conditions are right for them to thrive. People are mostly out, interacting with each other – a good way to spread infection. Regular handwashing and avoiding touching or scratching your eyes are sure ways to prevent this.
Many of us beat the summer heat by going to the beach or plunging in the nearest swimming pool we can find. But don’t be too fast. Unkempt and poorly maintained water can lead to various skin diseases. Take a bath before and after swimming. Watch out for changes in your skin color, temperature and possible appearance of rashes.
Remember. Prevention is key. However, if you already have any of the five diseases mentioned, you have the next best thing. Just call Medgate’s 24/7 doctors for easy, fast and convenient consultations over the phone.
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Telemedicine’s Potential Role in the Philippine Healthcare System
Ever wondered why it takes so long for you to see a doctor? Or why most doctors shuttle from one clinic to another to serve a multitude of patients? The answer is quite simple. There are not enough doctors to serve the public. According to Dr. Paulyn Ubial, DOH’s former secretary, “The Philippines has a ratio of one doctor to 33,000 persons.” Calling it a serious problem, is an understatement. Cuba has a far better ratio of one doctor for every 1,075 persons. In 2016, the DOH’s “Doctors to the Barrios” program was able to send 398 doctors to far-flung areas of the Philippines. However, they still lacked 116 doctors. Since compensation is a major issue, most doctors would choose to practice abroad, rather than stay and build their practice in the Philippines. The outcome is clear – crowded clinics and hospitals, long lines waiting for the doctor even for the simplest of illness, rushed consultations to cover more patients and increased cost because doctors order a lot of laboratory and diagnostic procedures to support their diagnosis.
So what can you do to help? Simple! Use telemedicine to address and treat common outpatient illnesses. But what is telemedicine? Telemedicine is a way to conduct medical consultations over the phone or through a customized mobile app via video conference calls. Be careful though. Not all telemedicine providers are the same. Medgate was founded in Switzerland almost 20 years ago with operations in Europe, Australia, Abu Dhabi, India, and the Philippines. During its years of worldwide operations, Medgate has developed statistically-based teletreatment guidelines so their doctors can address and treat non-emergency cases. In their Swiss office alone, they have conducted over 7 million consultations already. Good thing you have Medgate as your telemedicine provider.
What happens if I use telemedicine instead of going to the clinic or hospital? The immediate benefit would be convenience. Imagine not going through hours and hours of traffic or lining up at the clinic for a quick, ten-minute consultation. Because of telemedicine, you now have the opportunity to rest and recover. Tele-consultations conducted by Medgate’s doctors are thorough and detailed since medical governance is at the core of their practice. You also save on cost because you don’t have to pay for travel expenses to and from your house and clinic.
But the bigger picture is this – using telemedicine to get treatment means you are supporting the nation’s healthcare system and your fellow Filipinos in general. How? You are helping to declog clinics and hospitals because you are having medical consultations over the phone. This allows doctors in those clinics and hospitals to concentrate their time and efforts on emergency and complicated cases.
Remember! Telemedicine is not just a convenient way for you to have medical consultations, it also helps an ailing nation’s healthcare system.
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eMedical Certificate via Medgate
Have you ever been too sick to get out of bed, but you still need to see a doctor? Being sick will not give you a free pass, you still have to go through hours of road traffic, long queues at the clinic and a huge amount of stress while travelling. Medgate understands your pain, and has nothing but your health and well-being in mind. This is just one of the many reasons why leading HMOs partnered with Medgate, a world leader in telemedicine services.
Medgate provides tele-consultations, ePrescriptions, Care Plans (summary of consultation) and members can now request for FREE electronic Medical Certificates. You just need to pick up your phone, call and have a tele-consultation with any of Medgate’s specialist doctors on duty.
Who is Medgate?
Medgate is anchored on almost 20 years of telemedicine experience, statistically-based tele-treatment guidelines and the vast clinical experience of specialist doctors who have gone through a rigorous training program in telemedicine. This ensures each patient receives proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment and where applicable, a prescription and a medical certificate.
Expert medical care is literally at your fingertips – a convenient option to the hassle of traveling to a doctor, while giving you unparalleled ‘peace of mind’ and round-the-clock access.
With this innovation, your employers are able to extend ‘duty of care’ to you in a very convenient and efficient way. It’s a win-win situation for all.
How to access Medgate?
Apart from your trusty old landline and cellphones, Medgate gives you additional touchpoints like a free mobile app, SMS call back, web portal messaging and Facebook messenger. Medgate’s friendly nurses will be the one to call you on the agreed time before setting up the call with Medgate’s doctors. Isn’t that special?
As an added feature, a real-time video call with Medgate’s specialist doctors is also available. Using this platform, you can have your consultation via video call— as if you are in the clinic.
What to do next?
Maximize your benefits. Inform your colleagues and management about this innovative feature of Medgate. It will surely make your life, as well as the lives of your family and colleagues, better.
Remember. If you are sick or have any health concern, just Call Doc. Anywhere. Anytime. No line ™!
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Intellicare launches eMedical Certificate via Medgate
Have you ever been too sick to get out of bed, but you still need to see a doctor? Being sick will not give you a free pass, you still have to go through hours of road traffic, long queues at the clinic and a huge amount of stress while travelling. Intellicare understands your pain, and has nothing but your health and well-being in mind. This is just one of the many reasons why Intellicare partnered with Medgate, a world leader in telemedicine services.
Medgate provides tele-consultations, issuance of ePrescriptions, Care Plans (summary of consultation) and Intellicare members can now request for FREE electronic Medical Certificates. You just need to pick up your phone, call Medgate and have a tele-consultation with any of Medgate’s specialist doctors on roster.
Who is Medgate?
Medgate is anchored on almost 20 years of telemedicine experience, statistically-based tele-treatment guidelines and the vast clinical experience of specialist doctors who have gone through rigorous training in telemedicine. This ensures each patient receives proper diagnosis, appropriate treatment and where applicable, a prescription and a medical certificate.
Expert medical care is literally at your fingertips – a convenient option to the hassle of traveling to a doctor, unparalleled ‘peace of mind’ and round-the-clock access.
With this innovation, your employers are able to extend ‘duty of care’ to you in a very convenient and efficient way. It’s a win-win situation for all.
How to access Medgate?
Apart from your trusty old landline and cellphones, Medgate gives you additional touchpoints like a free mobile app, SMS call back and web portal messaging and Facebook messenger. Medgate’s friendly nurses will be the one to call you on the agreed time before setting up the call with Medgate’s doctors. Isn’t that special?
As an added feature, a real-time video call with Medgate’s specialist doctors is also available. Using this platform, you can have your consultation via video call— as if you are in the clinic.
What to do next?
Maximize your benefits. Inform your colleagues and management about this innovative feature of Intellicare . It will surely make your life, as well as the lives of your family and colleagues, better.
Remember. If you are sick or have any health concern, just Call Doc. Anywhere. Anytime. No line ™!
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News Update: National Press Club
Business World
Section 6 Page 1
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Special Feature: Medgate Philippines
Business World
Section 6 Page 1
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Innovative quality healthcare: Intellicare and Medgate Philippines partnership
Business World
Vol XXX Issue 151
Section 4 Page 3
As a new age of swift communication and modern technology continues to unfold, Intellicare keeps abreast with today’s pulse with its commitment to lead, innovate, and trailblaze a holistic approach to healthcare management. It utilizes modern developments to deliver quality service at the touch of one’s fingertips, thus, the partnership with Europe’s telemedicine provider, Medgate.
Medgate is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with 18 years of experience and operations in Switzerland, Middle East, Australia, and now, the Philippines.
Intellicare members may now access their 24-hour telemedicine center at no additional cost. Medgate offers high quality, convenient, and confidential medical consultations over the phone for non-emergency cases. Medgate’s pool of doctors are composed of specialists in most fields of medicine with extensive knowledge of the local healthcare system. They actively manage the patient’s consultation making sure prompt and the appropriate diagnosis and treatment are rendered. They may now experience the same quality healthcare management provided by a qualified doctor without the inconvenience of travelling for hours to go to a clinic or hospital and waiting in line to physically consult with a physician.
Intellicare members may avail of this service by simply calling Medgate through their hotline or downloading Medgate’s free mobile app. A trained nurse will verify the identity of the patient upon call and will be endorsed to Medgate’s line up of qualified and experienced physicians.
In order to complement the patient’s total telemedicine experience, Medgate also partnered with an outpatient pharmacy with delivery service capabilities. Medgate sends them the patient’s prescription, they then call the patient to explain the delivery service, including but not limited to the following: delivery time, minimum order, delivery charges, payment options, and delivery address.
The welfare of Intellicare members is important and the company trusts that this alternative method of medical consultation offers the accessibility of immediate medical assessment.
With this partnership, Intellicare and Medgate did not just bring a bright innovation on the table but this brought about a true complementary support to PhilHealth’s advocacy to provide accessible healthcare to the Filipinos.
In photo (L-R: are David King, Medgate director; Robert Parker, Medgate president; Jeremy Matti, Intellicare senior vice-president for Marketing and Sales; and Mario Silos, Intellicare chairman and president.
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In The News: Early Detection Best Bet to Avoid Dengue Fatalities
Written by: Samuelle Sison
Fatalities from dengue can be avoided with early detection, which is why even a fever should not be ignored–especially when young children are involved.
“Children have the highest case fatality rate (CFR) for dengue, at close to 1%,” stressed Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker, who added that this is more than double the CFR for the dreaded mosquito-borne disease, which has an average CFR of .48%.
Parker’s company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines. Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. It allows people to consult doctors via their cellular phones instead of lining up at the doctor’s office.
“The numbers may not appear alarming at first glance, but when you consider that the Philippines had a total of 211,108 cases of dengue in 2016, this means that last year more than a thousand Filipinos died from a disease that is very, very treatable if detected early,” added Parker. Data from the Department of Health-Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB) reveals that dengue resulted in 1,019 deaths last year, with the 1-4 age bracket recording the highest CFR at 0.98 percent. All in all, 211,108 dengue cases were recorded from January 1 to December 31, 2016.
According to Medgate Philippines Medical Director Dr. Arlene Claudio, the prevalence of dengue has made it unwise to ignore common afflictions such as a fever.
“The advantage of Medgate Philippines subscribers is that they’re able to consult a doctor the moment they suspect that they may have dengue, without having to line up for hours just to see a doctor,” explained Claudio.
“Now, if our on-call doctors determine that a caller has the symptoms associated with the disease, they can immediately advise our subscribers to go to the nearest hospital to get immediate medical attention. The faster dengue sufferers get treatment, the greater the chance the disease doesn’t become life-threatening.”
DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial, on the other hand, has emphasized the need for dengue prevention by ensuring cleanliness in our communities.
“It is very important to search and destroy the potential breeding sites in order to prevent the spread of Aedes mosquitoes that serve as vector of the virus. We reiterate that cleanliness is still the key against mosquito-borne diseases,” she said.
Ubial said that the public should be mindful of the “4S” stategy when dealing with dengue.
“The public is reminded to be vigilant and pre-cautious in eliminating mosquito breeding places through the ‘4S campaign’. The 4S means Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days, and Say yes to fogging only when there is an impending outbreak,” said Ubial.
Dengue is a virus transmitted by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, which may last from two to seven days; joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes; weakness, skin rashes, and nose bleeding when fever starts to subside; abdominal pain, vomiting of coffee-colored matter, dark-colored stools, and difficulty in breathing.
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Kick the habit and save lives, Medgate urges
by Manila Standard
GIVING up smoking could be the best new year’s resolution for the country’s 17-million smokers, saving smokers and their families from tens of thousands of pesos in potential medical costs.
Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker said the Department of Health should be commended for launching an aggressive anti-tobacco campaign that highlights the health and economic harms of smoking to families.
“Modern medicine allows us to address many of the health problems encountered by smokers, but the best solution to all these problems is simply quitting,” said Parker, whose company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
Telemedicine is the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. It allows people to consult doctors via their cellular phones instead of queuing in line at the doctor’s office.
Parker explained smokers were vulnerable to medical issues, “like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and heart disease.”
“Telemedicine provides a means by which a smoker can immediately consult a doctor so he or she can find out the extent of one’s health issues.”
Launched last October, the DOH anti-smoking campaign, called “Protect Your Family, Stop Smoking!” is designed to encourage quitting the habit.
“With more than 17 million Filipinos still addicted to tobacco use, there’s more work to be done to reduce the health and economic harms of tobacco. We are confident that this campaign, with its clear message targeted at Filipino families, will encourage more people to try to quit smoking tobacco,” said Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial.
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In The News: Smoking costs PH P188B every year
Written by Paul M.Gutierrez
GIVING up cigarette smoking may well be the “best” New Year’s resolution for the country’s estimated 17 million smokers with the vice’s ill-effects reportedly costing the country upwards to P188 billion in health cost and productivity losses.
This, according to Medgate Philippines’ chief executive officer Robert Parker, who also lauded the campaign of the Department of Health (DoH) headed by Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Russel-Ubial to stop tobacco addiction through the department’s “Protect Your Family, Stop Smoking” campaign.
Launched last October, the campaign is designed to encourage smokers to quit the vice.
“With more than 17 million Filipinos still addicted to tobacco use, there’s more work to be done to reduce the health and economic harms of tobacco.
“We are confident that this campaign, with its clear message targeted at Filipino families, will encourage more people to try to quit smoking tobacco,”
Ubial said. Ubial said the campaign was very timely, “as President Rodrigo Duterte moves towards implementing his clear vision of the Philippines’ tobacco control priorities.”
“This includes comprehensive smoke-free laws and the full implementation of graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging earlier approved by Congress,” the official said.
The department has already identified tobacco as the primary risk factor in the Philippines for a range of non-communicable diseases.
Aside from costing the country some P188 billion in health cost and productivity losses, it was also found out that more than 71,850 Filipinos are killed by tobacco-related diseases every year.
The Philippine Cancer Society has also reported that around 3,000 non-smoking adult Filipinos die every year of lung cancer as a result of inhaling second-hand smoke.
For his part, Parker noted that while modern medicine can now address many of the health problems encountered by smokers, “the best solution to all these problems is simply quitting.”
Medgate, his company, is one of the world’s leading international providers of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
“Telemedicine” is the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. It allows people to consult doctors via their cellular phones instead of queuing in line at the doctor’s office.
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In The News: Inclusion of CPR training in basic education sought
By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star)
A lawmaker proposed yesterday the inclusion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the physical education curriculum of private and public secondary schools.
“We need CPR knowhow, especially during this season when more Filipinos are succumbing to heart attack,” Laguna Rep. Sol Aragones said.
Citing a study by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Aragones said medical emergencies and admissions triple during the Christmas holidays.
These usually involve heart attacks, strokes and diabetes as a consequence of excessive eating and drinking, Aragones said.
Based on the PCP study, the number of medical emergencies in Metro Manila between January and November ranged from 30 to 50 cases a month.
“The numbers in December showed a significant rise in cases: 153 in 2004, 163 in 2005, 172 in 2006, 170 in 2007 and 170 in 2008,” Aragones said.
“Half of these emergency cases resulted in death. Who knows how many lives could have been saved if immediate medical treatment in the form of CPR was administered. CPR saves lives, which is why everyone should be required to learn it,” she said.
She noted that Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial supports her advocacy.
Aragones quoted Ubial as saying that all Filipinos, not only health workers, should learn how to do CPR.
Filipinos who have yet to learn CPR have an alternative.
Medgate Philippines chief executive officer Robert Parker said the telemedicine pioneer provides a step-by-step guide on performing CPR through mobile phone or landline.
“Of course, nothing beats learning CPR in a class but when emergencies strike, teleconsultation through smartphone app is the closest thing you can get to getting an instant tutorial,” Parker said.
Teleconsultation is one of the advantages offered by telemedicine – the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients.
Medgate is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Australia, Middle East, Switzerland and the Philippines.
“The best treatment is to nip these problems in the bud,” Medgate Philippines medical director Arlene Claudio said.
“If something doesn’t feel right, you should see a doctor right away and ask if it’s something serious. That’s something we always advise our clients; if you feel off, call at once so you know if you have a real emergency on your hands,” Claudio added.
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In The News: First aid know-how a must — lawmaker
by Manila Standard
With data showing that more Filipinos succumb to heart attacks and strokes, a lawmaker reiterated the need to include cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in the physical education curriculum of both private and public secondary schools. “According to the Philippine College of Physicians, hospital records reveal that medical emergencies and admissions triple during the holidays, and these usually involve heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes as a consequence of the excessive eating and drinking commonplace during the holidays,” said Laguna 3rd District Rep. Sol Aragones , who is the author of House Bill 1858, or the CPR Instruction Act of 2016.
The PCP, citing a survey of hospitals in the National Capital Region conducted from 2004 to 2008, showed that from January to November, the monthly average of medical emergencies and admissions was between 30 and 50 cases. The numbers in December, show a dramatic rise in cases: 153 in 2004, 163 in 2005, 172 in 2006, 170 in 2007, and 170 in 2008.
The same sentiments are shared by Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, who has supported the passage of legislation that would make CPR training mandatory for graduation.
Ubial had required CPR training in work evaluations for employees in Davao health regional offices under then Davao Mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Filipinos who have yet to learn CPR, however, have an alternative. Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker said that the telemedicine pioneer provides a step-by-step guide on performing CPR via mobile phone or landline.
“Of course, nothing beats learning it in a comprehensive class, but when emergencies strike, teleconsultation via our smartphone app is the closest thing you can get to getting an instant tutorial,” Parker explained.
Teleconsultation is one of the advantages offered by telemedicine––the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. Parker’s company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
Medgate Philippines Medical Director Dr. Arlene Claudio stressed, however, that the best treatment “is to nip these problems in the bud.”
“If something doesn’t feel right, you should report your symptoms right away and ask a doctor if it’s something serious. That’s something we always advise all our clients; if you feel off, call at once so you know if you have a real emergency on your hands.”
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Medgate Telemedicine Center Opens in the Philippines
Earlier this year, Medgate Philippines started operations. The Philippines are already the third country outside Switzerland, where the successful telemedicine concept of Medgate takes root, after the opening of the Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Center in the United Arab Emirates in 2014 and the Telemedicine Center ReadyCare in Australia in 2015.
At Medgate Philippines, 25 doctors and 8 telemedical assistants currently provide advice and diagnosis around the clock, 365 days a year, for patients with acute and general medical questions. Patients are treated according to the high quality guidelines as developed and implemented by Medgate in Switzerland. Doctors at Medgate Philippines can also provide their patients with medication prescriptions and a certificate of inability to work, if necessary.
The Medgate concept has established itself over the last 16 years in Switzerland and is attracting a lot of interest abroad. A further expansion of Medgate International is therefore planned and negotiations for further countries are already underway. Medgate is convinced that through the exchange of experience at international level, new impulses can also be set in Switzerland.
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In The News: Medical innovator urges action on doctor shortage
by Manila Standard
WITH the Philippines needing almost one million new doctors, a law providing for medical school scholarships and telemedicine services are being touted as measures that can be adopted to ensure that every Filipino has access to immediate medical care.
Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, who was directed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to travel to Cuba in August this year to study the country’s health care system, pointed out that Cuba has a ratio of one doctor for every 1,075 patients––a far cry from the Philippines, which has a ratio of one doctor for every 33,000 persons.
According to Ubial, the prohibitive costs of medical school and length of study required discourages many Filipinos from becoming doctors.
“We’re producing only 2,600 a year. Right now, it’s very difficult to go into medicine,” Ubial said.
There is a bill in the Senate that seeks to establish medical scholarship programs to increase the number of doctors in the country. Senate Bill 2717, authored by Senator Sonny Angara, would provide scholarships for deserving students in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine from every province of the country.
“According to data from the UPCM, about 80 percemt of its graduates leave the country to practice medicine abroad. Unfortunately, this trend has been increasing for the past 10 years. The effect is evident in the lack of medical doctors to serve our underprivileged countrymen,” said Angara.
If passed into law, the measure would require graduates of the program to work in provincial hospitals for five years.
Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker says that these programs “are a good long-term solution to the dearth of doctors in the Philippines.” “However, the thousands of doctors needed won’t be produced overnight. Given the urgency of the problem, we have to look at viable, immediate alternatives to mitigate the impact of doctor shortages, especially in rural areas where doctors are scarce,” Parker stressed.
One option, according to Parker, is telemedicine––the use of electronic communications to transmit and exchange medical information and data to treat patients. Parker’s company, Medgate Philippines, is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
“In some areas in the Philippines, you have doctors servicing over 20,000 people. This means long waiting times just to consult a doctor,” explained Medgate Philippines Medical Director Dr. Arlene Claudio.
“What telemedicine does is give every one who has a cellular phone access to a doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So when you’re sick, you can consult a doctor anytime, anywhere.”
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In The News: Health care bill pushed
Written by Paul M.Gutierrez
THE Department of Health (DoH) and stakeholders in the health sector are calling on Congress to expedite the passage of Senate Bill 2717 creating a scholarship program for doctors of medicine to boost the country’s overall healthcare system.
The proposal, authored by Sen. Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara, seeks to provide scholarships for at least one deserving student in every province of the country at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine (UPCM).
In his introduction to the bill, Angara noted that available data disclosed that 80 percent of UPCM graduates leave the country to practice medicine abroad, a trend that has started more than 10 years ago.
“The effect is evident in the lack of medical doctors to serve our underprivileged countrymen,” said Angara.
The exodus abroad of Filipino doctors has become problematic considering that Philippine medical schools are only producing some 2,600 each year, according to Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rossel-Ubial.
If passed into law, the measure would require graduates of the program to work in provincial hospitals for five years.
Last August, Ubial was instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the communist nation of Cuba to study its health care system, which is one of the best in the world.
Ubial reported that Cuba has a ratio of one doctor for every 1,075 patients––a far cry from the Philippines, which has a ratio of one doctor for every 33,000 persons.
The DoH chief opined that the “prohibitive cost” of medical school and the length of years in school required —10 years—have discouraged many Filipinos from becoming doctors.
To help remedy the situation, Medgate Philippines, a leading medical group engaged in “telemedicine” using the Internet and electronic telecommunications, has offered its services and techonology in reaching out to the most number of Filipinos regarding their health.
Medgate Philippines Chief Executive Officer Robert Parker says that these programs “are a good long-term solution to the dearth of doctors in the Philippines.”
“Given the urgency of the problem, we have to look at viable, immediate alternatives to mitigate the impact of doctor shortages, especially in rural areas where doctors are scarce,” Parker stressed. Parker claimed Medgate is the leading international provider of telemedicine, with operations in Switzerland, the Middle East, Australia, and the Philippines.
“What telemedicine does is give everyone who has a cellular phone access to a doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So when you’re sick, you can consult a doctor anytime, anywhere,” the official said.
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Intellicare partners with Medgate
28 September 2016. Fast-growing HMO Intellicare and Medgate Philippines announces its partnership to the public in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. With the joint aim of providing swift and compelling healthcare service to members, both companies continue to enhance the service experience by providing tele-medical consultations, plus more avenues to communicate thru the website, APP and social media pages.
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Medgate Philippines Joins ASPLI’s 17th Annual Summit
The Association of Service Professionals in Life Insurance (ASPLI) held its 17th annual summit in Iloilo last 08 September 2016. Focusing on their theme: “Customer Service Simple and Personal in the Digital Age”, Mr. Robert Parker, CEO of Medgate Philippines discussed how in an age where more and more transactions are made online or thru digital channels like social media and mobile phones, friendly and satisfactory customer service still remain the number one requirement in the service industry to leave a mark in the hearts of customers.
A friendly tone and being able to quickly solve their problem or concern are given top marks by clients. Fast delivery of service is also very important, otherwise customers would consider alternatives.
How does Medgate achieve all this? Investment in a strong platform for the delivery of tele-medical services, and professional training for its Tele-Medical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives and Medical Doctors. Lastly, the willingness to listen to both good and bad feedback, and be flexible to changing customer demands allow Medgate Philippines to provides its member with the best possible service each day, 24/7.
If you are interested in an exciting career for a company that's revolutionizing the medical industry, feel free to send us an email at
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