ILOILO CITY— The Department of Health (DOH) and the City Health Office (CHO) on Monday urged the public to avail of free cervical cancer and hypertension tests in various health facilities.
Women from 21 to 65 years old are encouraged to avail of the visual ascetic acid test offered free in health centers, said DOH senior health program officer John Lapascua.
Lapascua said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 12,000 Filipinos are diagnosed with cervical cancer ever year and 50 percent of them die in the next five years. Twelve Filipino women die every day due to the disease.
Meantime, Dra. Mae Delmo, assistant city health officer, said that the city government through the district health centers would extend free visual ascetic acid inspection test. However, there was a shift in focus as most of the cases were breast cancer.
Dr. Delmo explained that during the conduct of the test, the area affected with the inflammation turns white due to infection or underlying cancer. Once screened, they are given medication otherwise they are referred to an Ob-gyne for appropriate medical intervention.
Female who have multiple partners, low immunity and with history of cervical cancer in their families are encouraged to undergo the test.
The result of the ascetic acid test can be known in minutes whereas the former can be released in about two weeks. Preferably the test is conducted 14 days after menstruation.
Cervical cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) due to an inspection that can be transmitted by sexual contact.
Aside from cervical cancer awareness, the DOH and CHO also advocate for the public to undergo tests for possible hypertension. Free blood pressure test is also available in health centers.
On the other hand, individuals aged 18 and above are being targeted for blood pressure (BP) check for possible hypertension.
Delmo said that the mortality rate in Iloilo City pointed to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which could be due to hypertension and diabetes mellitus, as the highest. The third cause is hypertension.
“Almost every day we do blood pressure screening in our health centers,” she said.
Last year, around 38,000 availed of the BP check and more or less 4,000 were found to be hypertensive.
City Health Officer Dr. Bernard Caspe warned that hypertension would bring in other complications, which was alarming.
He added that free medicines were available in health center. Also, they are encouraged to be particular with their diet; avoid salty and fatty foods and observe healthy lifestyle.
This May, the country observes the National Hypertension Awareness Month and the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.