May 27, 2024

Better health systems for Baguio patients and health practitioners, medical education, risk factor assessment and management for non-communicable diseases is embodied in a memorandum of agreement signed between Mayor Benjamin Magalong and three entities last week at City Hall.
The MOA signing is under the program Addressing the Complications Today through Network Of Warriors (ACT NOW) against the cardiorenal complications of T2D (type 2 diabetes) and HTN (hypertension).  
Other signatories are Diabetes Philippines Inc. represented by Dr. Francis Pasaporte; Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators and Association of Diabetes Nurses Educators of the Philippines, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals represented by Lotis Ramin; Diabetes Philippines, Baguio-Benguet chapter represented by Dr. Dwight Black, Baguio City Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo, and CHSO Assistant head Celia Flor Brillantes.    
The endeavor is from the premise that 20 million people die from cardiovascular renal and metabolic diseases and that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the fourth leading cause of premature death. In 2021, PhilHealth reported hemodialysis topped the procedural cases reimbursed in their office.
Medical and medical educator groups in coordination with ACT NOW and pharmaceutical entity AstraZeneca wanted to address the increasing complications from T2D, HTN, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease, and CKD.
Assessment through a CKD questionnaire in the management of non-communicable diseases shall be used to identify patients at high risk. Factors are age, gender, hypertension and diabetes-prone, history of congestive/heart disease or stroke, circulation problems in the legs, and protein in the urine.
Other factors considered are history of smoking, asthma, cancer, obesity, alcohol intake; and salt, fat and dietary fiber intake.
Screening is done through a urine albumin creatinine ratio machine. 
The MOA submits to continuing medical education for health practitioners on risk factors management, lay education on lifestyle modification, adherence to therapies and prevention of cardiorenal complications.
The participants agreed to establish a referral hub with risk factor treatment pathway, participate in data generation, and provide access to treatment.
Galpo committed to having 50,000 residents screened, with access to life-saving treatment, advice and promotion to a healthy lifestyle.
She also hoped to have screening in all hospitals in the city.
Black hailed ACT NOW as a very sensible program for health care.
Brillantes agreed it unburdens health care organizations.
All health authorities present committed to work together as the program has a profound impact to health and saves lives.    
Ramin said good collaboration with the City Government of Baguio would have meaningful and impactful outcome, and with Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s good governance agenda and political will, more would benefit. – Julie G. Fianza