Sunday, May 1, 2016

Labor Day: I'm thinking of all workers who died because of AIDS

Is there a connect between faith, HIV and the working class? This becomes a problem if the church does not know the answer.

Jesus is an advocate for the working class. If the church is the body of Christ, the church must stand as the advocate for the working class in our present time. The church is ministering to the needs of the working class by specifically looking at their health condition. But the current state of our health system puts the working class at a disadvantage. Lack of services, lack of health human resource, no equipments, inaccessibility, high prices, and many more makes health unavailable to the working class, especially the most vulnerable. One of the vulnerable groups are the people living with HIV and AIDS. But what does the church know about HIV and AIDS?

For two years now, the Visayas Health Ministry on HIV and AIDS have been conducting HIV Awareness in local churches as a starting point of the health ministry of the body of Christ. One of the goals is to increase the knowledge of the church about HIV and AIDS towards SSDDIM reduction and holistic salvation. 

Our yearly evaluation showed, around 79.40% of all participants from the 9 activities surveyed had an increased in knowledge about HIV after undergoing the HIV Awareness Workshop through the SAVE approach. Divided into the different sub-groups: 92.56% of youth had increased knowledge, 68.68% of women also had increased knowledge while only 62.96% of clergy had increase in knowledge about HIV after the SAVE Workshops. It is noted that the HIV Awareness workshops were successful in increasing the knowledge on HIV of its participants.

The evaluation of the HIV Awareness Workshop activities of VisHMHA in 2015 through the SAVE Approach showed success of the program. A sample population of all the participants was tested to assess the program. The program used the validated HIV-KQ-18 questionnaire by Carey and Schroder (2002).

Forty correspondents before the workshops were surveyed:
  • -        The correct knowledge of the participants about HIV is only 53.78%.
  • -        82.50% of the participants think that "All pregnant women infected with HIV will have babies born with AIDS."
  • -        80% of the participants wrongly believe that "Pulling out the penis before a man climaxes keeps a woman from getting HIV during sex."
  • -        90% of the participants know that it is not true that "A person can get HIV by sharing a glass of water with someone with HIV."

The HIV Awareness Workshops has increased the knowledge of the correspondents by 11%. After the workshops:
  • -        The correct knowledge of all the participants about HIV is 64.33%.
  • -        There was an increase in the HIV knowledge of the participants of the workshops.
  • -        The HIV Awareness Workshops through SAVE approach is an effective intervention to increase the knowledge of churches towards decreasing SSDDIM.
  • -        There is a need to continue the gains on HIV Awareness.

The next thrust of the program is to build HIV-competent local churches in the Visayas region. By building these competent churches, we hope to strengthen the body of Christ as an able advocate for the working class.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Birthday Wish this Coming Election

I wanted to reflect something about my birthday. But I also wanted to reflect about the coming elections. Very briefly, I only have this on mind right now.

On my birthday, I want a gift that that not only benefits me but all Filipinos. I want a truly Universal Health Care. And this can only be achieved if we have a functioning Primary Health Care System. What we have now is a sort of a hybrid health system, a devolved but nationally led system.

I just came from the hospital and my family needs hospitalization. I know it is covered by Philhealth but we still need out of pocket expenses which is 2x the total Philhealth coverage. Where is Universal Health Care?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Conquer your Giants

Conquer your Giants (Adapted from PROTIPS of Maloi Malibiran-Salumbides)

Maalala niyo ba ng kwento ni David and Goliath? Paminsan, ang problema natin ay parang higanteng Goliath at tayo naman ay nanliliit na David. Kapag feeling overwhelmed ka sa dami ng kailangang gawin at tapusin, may isang military strategy na makatutulong sa iyo, divide and conquer. Divide your work into manageable tasks and one by one conquer them. Magugulat ka na lang at ang dambuhalang trabaho na akala mo ay di matatapos ay isa na lamang ala-ala dahil wala na siya, tapos na!
May tatlong tips akong gustong ipabaon sa iyo kung paano mo hahatiin at mapagtatagumpayan ang malalaking pagsubok na mayroon ka sa buhay at trabaho mo.

1) Attack your problem, one step at a time. Masaya sana kung lahat ng problema pwedeng tapusin sa isang kumpas ng kamay. Pero hindi, kadalasan ang kumplikadong pagsubok, napagtatagumpayan natin one step at a time, one day at a time. As you divide and conquer the challenges that you face at work, mag-ipon ka ng maraming pasensiya at samahan mo rin iyan ng nag-uumapaw na pag-asa. Ang sabi sa Matthew 6:34, "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

2) Dissect the problem into understandable facets. Minsan nalulula tayo sa laki ng problema kasi masyado masyado kang involved dito. Try to get the help of an outside observer. At sabay ninyong himayin at pag-aralan ang puno't dulo ng problema mo sa trabaho. Tiyak bago iyan naging problema may mga nakaligtaang gawin o kaya naman ay may pagkukulang hindi tinama at pinansin. If you dissect your problem from points A to Z, mas malalaman mo kung paano ito haharapin at hahanapan ng lunas. Parang any big problem na really overwhelming. Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin ay wala itong solusyon. Kung iisa-isahin ang dahilan ng paglala ng problema, mas mahahanapan ito ng integrated at kumprehensibong lunas.

3) Conquer your problem with God's help. Ang sabi nga sa Romans 8:35 at 37 ay ganito, "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." Walang problemang napakalaki na di kayang lutasin ng Diyos. Madalas, pinapayagan ng Diyos na dumaan tayo sa pagsubok sa trabaho natin, dahil tinuturuan Niya tayong magtiwala at umasa sa Kanya. Tulad ni David, huwag mong sarilinin ang iyong problema. Conquer your giant problem with God's help.
Attack your problem, one step at a time; dissect your problem into understandable facets and conquer your problem with God's help. Ang gahiganteng problema, kayang pagtagumpayan sa tulong ng Diyos.

MAGING PAGPAPALA TAYO SA ATING MGA PASYENTE.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

University of the Philippines in Mindanao Recognition 2016

Earlier this week, I was informed that I am being recognized by my Alma Mater as one of the Most Distinguished Alumni of UP Mindanao for 2016. Below is what I had to say:

Salamat sa mga nagbigay ng parangal na ito. Pero ano nga ba ang ibig sabihin ng parangal na ito? Para sa akin, ang tanong ay ano nga ba ang puedeng magawa ng isang estudyante ng UP Mindanao 20 years mula ng kanyang unang  enrolment? Opo, 1996 po kasi ang aking student number.
Sa loob ng 20 years, dapat po sana ay graduate ka na. Dapat sana ay tapos ka na sa pag-aaral mo at ikaw ay may trabaho na para kumita at may sarili ka nang pera. Para naman hindi ka na hingi ng hingi ng pera sa mga magulang mo. Maawa ka naman sa kanila kung sa loob ng 20 years ay humihingi ka pa rin ng pera hanggang ngayon. “Ang makagradweyt at makahanap ng trabaho.” Ulitin ko. Ang makapagtapos ng pag-aaral para makahanap ng MAGANDANG trabahong magbibigay sayo ng MAGANDANG sweldo ay HINDI po tinuturo sa UP. Hindi rin po yan ang natutunan ko sa UP, kaya alam kong hindi rin po yan ang ibig sabihin ng parangal na ito.
Noong kami ay nasa PCA compound pa bilang mga estudyante, ang tinuro sa amin ay kung paano makitungo sa ating kapwa tao mula sa iba’t ibang antas ng buhay. Noong kami ay nasa Pahinungod at umakyat ng Diwalwal o sa Boys Town ay tinuro sa amin kung paano pahalagahan ang kapakanan ng iba higit sa sarili. Noong kami ay volunteer sa Eagle Center at binabantayan ang Agila sa Arakan Valley kahit may panganib, tinuro sa amin kung paano pahalagahan ang kalikasan. Noong kami ay dumalaw sa mga komunidad ng Mandaya, Bagobo at Tboli ay tinuro sa amin ang kahalagahan ng ating kultura. Noong kami ay naglakad sa lansangan ng Magallanes at Claveria, natuto rin kaming ipaglaban ang katarungan. Noong kami ay umakyat sa bundok ng Hamuigitan at noong nagsurvey sa Davao Gulf ay tinuro sa amin ang kahalagahan ng pagtuklas at pagsaliksik ng bagong kaalaman. Hindi po PAANO maghanap buhay ang tinuro sa UP.
Ang natutunan po naming ay paano maglingkod sa kapwa, sa kalikasan, sa Diyos at sa Bayan. Pagkalipas ng 20 years, ano nga ba ang puedeng magawa ng isang estudyante mula sa UP Mindanao? Walang iba kundi ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan at natutunan sa UP. Ipagpatuloy ang tamang pakikitungo sa kapwa, ipagpatuloy ang pagtulong sa mga nangangailangan, ipagpatuloy ang paghingi ng katarungan, ipagpatuloy ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan, ipagpatuloy ang pagtuklas sa bagong kaalaman, ipagpatuloy ang pagsulong ng kaunlaran, at ipagpatuloy ang paglingkod sa bayan. Opo, pagkalipas ng 20 years ay hindi pa rin po ako tapos sa pag-aaral dahil estudyante pa rin po ako sa UP. Pero salamat po sa pagkilala sa mga gawaing itinutuloy lamang natin.
At ang pagkilalang ito ay pagkilala rin sa mga katuwang natin sa mga gawaing ito… ang mga taong tumulong sa atin sa komunidad, mga lider ng people’s organization, Civil Society groups, mga nakatrabaho ko at fellow development workers, mga kaibigan kong nagbibigay suporta at panalangin (sana dagdagan niyo ang inyong donations), mga fellow Pioneers (sayang at wala ng UKLAS Mountaineers) mga naging guro ko lalo na dito sa UP hindi ko na po kayo iisa-isahin (pero especial mention kay Ma'am Novero na nagtiwala sa ating kakayahan) at sa mga una kong guro... ang aking ama at ina; ang aking pamilya na lagi kong kasama at higit sa lahat si Bathala.
Daghang Salamat. Padayon…

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Better than Yesterday

Better Than Yesterday (Adapted from PROTIPS of Maloi Malibiran-Salumbides)

Kumusta ka ngayon? Ang karaniwang sagot natin, “Mabuti naman!” Pero ang mas magandang sagot diyan ay ganito, “Asenso kunti.” O, bago tumaas ang kilay mo at bago ka umiling, patutunayan ko sa iyo na talagang mas mayaman ka ngayon kaysa kahapon. Today, you are 24-hours better, you are several experiences wiser. Perhaps, you are better in terms of new acquaintances and friends whom you’ve recently made. Kung ikaw ay bukas para matuto, mas asenso ka ngayon sa kaalaman. Maaaring mas asenso ka ngayon kaysa kahapon dahil susuweldo ka na at mababawasan na kahit papaano ang utang mo. Hindi lang naman pera at ari-arian ang tanging yaman. You are better today than yesterday. At paano mo pa higit na mapagyayaman ang iyong buhay? Pag-usapan natin yan ngayon.
Kung hindi lamang pera ang maituturing na yaman, ano pa ang kayamanang dapat nating pinagsusumikapang makamtan? Remember the word RICH para madali mong maalala ang tips ko sa iyo ngayon.

1.  Relationship with God. Ito ang tunay na yaman. Sa Mark 8:36 ay ganito ang nakasulat, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Kahit na mapasa-atin ang lahat ng yaman sa mundo, kung wala naman tayong tamang ugnayan sa Diyos, bale wala ang lahat ng ating pagsisipag at pagsusumikap. The riches which the world offers cannot satisfy our soul. Ito ang paalala sa atin sa Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Ikaw ba ay nagsusumikap din na mapaglamim ang ugnayan mo sa Diyos?

2. Ideas and Insights. Ang taong maraming ideya at kaalaman ay hindi mauubusan ng mapagkakakitaan. Enrich your mind. Ugaliin natin ang magbasa, makinig, magmasid sa ating paligid. At huwag lamang tayong tanggap ng tanggap sa lahat ng ibinibigay sa ating balita o impormasyon. We should be critical and discerning thinkers.

3.   Character. Iwasang i-kumpromiso ang iyong integridad ng dahil lamang sa pera. Ang pera, pwede mong kitain. Ang integridad kapag nasira, mahirap ng buuin. Ang sabi ni Zig Ziglar, “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.” Huwag lamang trabaho at negosyo ang pagyamanin, tiyakin nating ang ating character ay napagtitibay din natin.

4. Health. Makailang ulit na ba nating narinig ang kasabihang, “Health is Wealth”. Ang kalusugan mo ay kayamanang maituturing. Hindi natin ma-eenjoy ang yaman at ari-ariang ating pinaghirapan kung wala tayong pisikal na lakas at palagi tayong may sakit. You cannot create wealth if you are always sick and absent from your work and business. Kung nais mong maging matagumpay, don’t just look after your financial health. Make sure that you are also physically well.

Mga kayamanang higit pa sa pera na iyong kikitain o sweldong iyong tatanggapin, your Relationship with God, Ideas and insights, Character and Health.

Kumusta ka ngayong araw na ito? Sana ang sagot mo ay, “asenso ng kunti!”

MAGING PAGPAPALA TAYO SA ATING MGA PASYENTE.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Effective Altruism and the Ethics of Helping Others through Medical Missions

Effective altruism has been a major concern about the ethics of helping others. The discussion has centered on whether the help we offer has the greatest positive impact to the world. It scrutinizes whether the intent to help others is a valid reason enough to use our resources in certain activity. Such is the ethical questions that needs to be addressed by organizations thinking of maximizing their resources to help others through a medical mission. Here are Six Questions that needs to be answered before you organize a medical mission:

1. Is the medical mission needed in the area?
Many medical missions are conducted in areas that do not match the resources available to the needs in the area. One group once went to a depressed squatters area bringing antibiotics expecting many sick children. They found many to be sick with tuberculosis but do not have the medicines for it. Because medical missions often address acute medical needs, the timing and the location are important considerations for this activities. Another location might benefit the most with what you have to offer.


2. Are the recipients the neediest people who need the service?
This question is related to the first. Medical missions are often limited in their resources. It becomes important then to ask who will receive these limited resources? Do we give these to members of the organizations only? Do we invite our family and friends? Do we cater on a first come, first serve basis? Or do we exclusively limit it to the poorest people who needs the help the most?


3. Is the medical mission the best way to improve the health of the individual and the community at large?
Medical missions are useful when disaster strikes as the health care system is overwhelmed by the situation. Yet, in ordinary times there are existing health services that the government are offering. It might be more effective to help improve the existing health programs and services available in the community to have longer lasting impact in improving people's health and the community as well. It It is better to put your resources to a program that will provide the greatest benefit to most number of people.


4. Is the "medical mission" helping the local health system?
Each locality has an existing health care system. In low-to-middle income countries (LMIC) like the Philippines, it might not be as effective as we want it. But are the medical missions we are conducting helping the system or are we competing against them? Check if there are local health centers and health workers in the area. It will be unfortunate to conduct medical missions without their participation. You might miss creating a bigger and lasting impact.


5. Is the medical mission highly dependent on donations?
Do you conduct the medical missions on a regular basis or only when the resources are available? How will this impact continuity of health care to the people? If the reason why the medical mission was done in the area is because medical services are really needed, what does it mean to provide only once in a "Blue Moon" health services to them or only when resources are available? Limited resources is better placed in programs with the greatest health outcomes for all.


6.  Is the group concern with the health of the people or are they just using it as leverage for their own purpose?
What could be the driving force for the medical mission? Some churches have conditions for the beneficiaries, they offer only medical services only after the beneficiaries have participated in a Bible Study by the group. Politicians leverage it for their election. Groups use it to promote their products. Or do they simply want to help improve the health of the most number of people regardless of nothing to gain in return?


Effective altruism does not question the intent of the people to help others. For many utilitarians like Dr. Singer, they question the impact and effectiveness of the help offered. Effective altruism, thus, puts into proper perspective how medical missions can effectively impact the health of the wider-community. Were the resources used properly? But for virtuous doctors, the question really is, can the medical missions effectively help me become a virtuous doctor? Are the medical missions the best venue in forming in me virtues that will make me an excellent doctor?  For Christian doctors, can these medical missions be the best way for us to achieve Christ-likeness? Will these activities form in me virtuous of magnificence? Do I practice generosity?

For in generosity, I am helping the best way I can to a person who needs me most.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Breaking the Bad News


Virtuous doctors are humans with a heart for their patients and their patient's families. They recognize the "importance of their role" in breaking the bad news to the family members.

Doctors can be God's instrument of healing their wounded heart if they allow God to use them.

Watch and learn.
Oh those #TearsOfGreys feels! 󾌺󾌺󾌺 #GreysAnatomy
Posted by Grey's Anatomy on Lunes, Oktubre 19, 2015