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The White Jacket //
To Dream or Not To Dream ?
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Interventions to improve international health and related delivery systems started during rapid economic growth and its diffusion in the 19th century in countries of the North Atlantic. Right after, human mortality rates decreased and health care improved significantly to the rest of the world. Despite this partial success during our century, the whole world still faces critical challenges on health such as the epidemiological transmission, HIV/AID epidemic, new pandemics, and unequal progress most specially seen in developing countries. Although the leading global risks were already identified (high blood pressure, tobacco use, high blood glucose, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity), they are still partially uncontrolled, therefore leading to more cases of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers worldwide. Global diseases were found to be socioeconomically related and they are now being measured in Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and its leading risks were underweight, unsafe sex, alcohol use, and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. Among these leading risks, alcohol use has a unique geographic and sex pattern, with its prevalence highest for men living in Africa, in middle-income countries in the USA, and in some developed countries. Furthermore, developing countries were already found to have a double burden of disease – a combination of chronic, non-communicable conditions and communicable/infectious diseases.

To overcome these complicated health problems among nations, the focus on medical research also transitioned. Initially, most health behavior theories focused more at the intrapersonal level and the approach was proven to be inadequate in addressing the health care problems. A Social Ecological Model (SEM) was then proposed to address health factors at multiple levels, namely intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and policy levels. The multifactorial approach had proven to be more effective in several countries and it paved the way for nations to plan and create a primary health care system, which also focuses on the social determinants of health. These social determinants have overarching recommendations: (1) to improve daily lifestyle, (2) to challenge the inequitable distribution of power, money and natural resources, and (3) to measure and comprehend the problem and assess its impact of action. Although with promising target goals, these social determinants are mainly affected by poverty, inequality and ‘the causes of the causes’. To address these socioeconomic inequalities and inequities, Primary Health Care (PHC) became the international goal, as announced during the 1978 International Conference on Primary Care in Alma Ata. Key characteristics and particular recommendations of PHC were established to develop a healthcare available for all – from preventive, curative up to rehabilitative health programs. But until now, only a few countries had achieved this Millennium Development Goal.

In our country, an attempt on primary health care was done but the strategy was said to be just “banking on the barangays.” Positively, our country’s health status improved dramatically ever since the Alma Ata Declaration, with infant mortality drop by more than 60% percent, decreased prevalence of infectious diseases and increased life expectancy to over 70 years. However, our health system is still not a complete success since significant inequities in health care between socioeconomic groups still remain. As a developing country, a major factor of inequity is due to high cost of health care and inadequate health care coverage. Even with a national health insurance agency called PhilHealth since 2005, significant challenges/setbacks, such as understaffed workers and under-served areas, greatly affected the health care outcome. Sadly, even though our country is a major exporter of nurses and doctors, we still face critical shortages due to government inefficiency and poverty/salary problems. As a general practitioner, I have seen our existing health care problem with my own eyes – both in private and government hospitals. Our health care system still needs to be more aggressive on the approaches in every level (according to the SEM) and at the same time, it also needs to be more realistic and more practical so that primary health care can be readily available for all. Our government should also value medical research since it has immediate and long-term benefits for the Filipinos.


Bambra, C., Gibson, M., Snowden, A., Wright, K., Whitehead, M. & Petticrew, M. (2011) Tackling the wider social determinants of health and health inequalities: evidence from systematic reviews, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 64, No. 4, pp. 284–291, Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http:// ww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921286/

Gillam, S. (2007) The declaration of Alma Ata: still relevant after all these years? Institute of Public Health, Cambridge. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.15by15.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/declaration-ofalmaata-stephen-gillam.pdf

Hall, J. J. and Taylor, R. (2003) Health for all beyond 2000: the demise of the Alma-Ata Declaration and primary health care in developing countries, Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 178, No. 1, pp 17-20. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2003/178/1/health-all-beyond-2000-demise-alma-ata-declaration-and-primary-health-care

Jamison, D.T. (2006) Investing in Health. In: Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd edition. Washington (DC): World Bank. Chapter 1. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11754/pdf/ch1.pdf

Marmot, M. (2005) Social determinants of health inequities. Lancet, Vol 365, Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/strategy/Marmot-Social%20determinants%20of%20health%20inqualities.pdf

Martin, C. M. and Kaufman, T. (2008) Addressing health inequities: A case for implementing primary health care, Canadian Family Physician, Vol. 54, No. 11, pp. 1515-1517. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.cfp.ca/content/54/11/1515.full.pdf+html

Philipps, D.R. (1986) Primary health care in the Philippines: banking on the barangays? Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 23, No. 10, pp. 1105-17, Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3823975

Romualdez, A.G., Dela Rosa, J.F., Flavier, J.D., Quimbo, S.L., Hartigan-Go, K.Y., Lagrada, L.P., & David, L.C. (2011) The Philippines Health System Review, Health Systems in Transition, Vol. 1, No. 2, Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.wpro.who.int/philippines/areas/health_systems/financing/philippines_health_system_review.pdf

WHO (2009) Global Patterns of Health Risks in Global Health Risk, WHO, Geneva, Vol. 9-12, Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_full.pdf

WHO (2012) Outcome of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, 65th World Health Assembly, Agenda 13.6. Retrieved September 12, 2016 from http://www.who.int/sdhconference/background/A65_R8-en.pdf?ua=1
8th-Sep-2016 02:32 pm - A Reflection on International Health
I perceive global health as a multinational teamwork. In global health, from its plans up to its target goals, nations also need multidisciplinary cooperation. Looking at good health (or the absence of illness) as a form of long-term investment or socio-economic development, participating nations now recognize the importance of health equity, as well as the focus both on the preventive measures and clinical management for all the citizens. Global health is very different from international health and public health. It is a few steps higher than these two health goals – and also much more difficult to achieve, most specially with developing countries due to their limited resources and double burden of disease. It is different since international health only requires binational cooperation, with one helping the other. Public health is much more different since it only focuses on health issues of a particular community or country. It is also the global health for the public good since it deals only with preventive measures of the general population.

I agree that a health crisis doesn’t necessarily need to cross national borders to be deemed a global issue. Once a health condition affects a significant proportion of citizens in a country or if it basically affects international relationships, other nations should give necessary aid to the affected country. We are all humans after all – we should help each other out when one is in need. Although with similarities in terms of promoting development, global health is different from global public good. It is not just for socio-economic development of nations. It is for the benefit of good health of most, if not all. It is the reason why there is still a global funding on malaria and AIDS even though it doesn’t affect all countries.

Global health covers a lot of health issues – from infectious diseases, maternal and child health issues up to chronic diseases, mental health, and environmental or occupational hazards. Because of its broad scope, it also involves not only the medical profession. I believe that any profession/discipline can contribute as long as the goal of global health can be met, from policemen fining smokers in public places to lawyers implementing sin taxes. As a general practitioner, I can contribute to global health in my own simple ways. Not only by prescribing necessary medications for certain diseases, I should also promote preventive medicine and recognize environmental/occupational hazards. On my current profession in pharmaceutical research, I also have to ensure the safety and efficacy of several drugs and health care products for the benefit of the general population. As a professor, I should also remind the future doctors on how they can contribute in globalization by also promoting global health.

5th-Sep-2016 02:26 pm - An Update About Myself
In my work as a Medical Affairs Physician (Pharmacovigilance), I deal with a lot of clinical trials/RCT's globally. But due to confidentiality issues with my current company, I'm afraid I cannot share most of my current job experiences with you. But here's a gist: In every study, I basically evaluate articles on therapy, making sure that they are all appraised according to directness, validity, and applicability. I also do sensitivity analysis, measurements of effectiveness for dichotomous outcomes, interpretation of confidence intervals, and estimation of individualized changes in risk. All these works are made sure to be in accordance to FDA and/or EMEA standards.

In connection wtih biostatistics, I would also like to share my research project when I was in medical school. It was about ''Perceptions on Family Functioning and its Factors among Adolescent Children of OFWs: A Cross-Sectional Study." The research objective was to determine and describe the relationship between selected factors and perceived functioning of the adolescent children left behind by their OFW parents. It was an analytical cross-sectional design involving 130 adolescent children of OFW's in Mabini, Batangas. My groupmates and I used descriptive statistics and point and interval estimates of the prevalence odds ratio to analyze the socio-demographic profiles and family functioning, using self-administered questionnaire with standard Filipino APGAR scoring. We have found that more than half of these children still perceived that their own families were still highly functional. Moreover, we have also found that dysfunctional families were mainly due to rare frequency of communication between the family members and also with initial poor relationship of the children with their migrant parents.

During my previous work in maritime medicine, I have also collected and organized clinical data in preparation for analysis and interpretation - they were all in preparation for research studies regarding Filipino seafarers. I planned on taking a research study for these Filipino seafarers but due to inadequate knowledge (that's why I'm here) and also, funding - I was unable to continue my research work. But still, I have my hopes up. I hope that the knowledge that I will gain here in UPOU will help me on my future research studies.

3rd-Sep-2016 02:28 pm - I'm Back!
 And yes, I'm back!

Not all bloggers return to their blogs, but hey, I do! I came back here for one good reason: To write randomly again! If you know me personally... well, you know almost everything that I've been through. Thank you for being a great stalker friend! If you just dropped by here accidentally...uhhm, welcome! This is a great way to know me more! 

I hope to write more randomness soon! This will be an outlet of my stress. Pardon my randomness and well-known insanity!

>P.S. Fixed my CSS error on alignment of the blog entries vs. sidebar. I'm still proud of my HTML/CSS skills after all this time.

23rd-Jan-2013 04:44 pm - DKFC Hangover!
It has been 5 days since I attended the 'Dream K-POP Fantasy Concert'. To those of you who don't know, Infinite, Tasty, U-Kiss, Tahiti, EXO K/M and SNSD (Girl's Generation) performed (consecutively). I was lucky enough to get a VIP Platinum ticket on the day of the concert (and now I'm still recovering from my bankrupcy) and met my old and new friends, whom I all met for the love of k-pop! 

I still can't get over it. I saw 6 k-pop groups in one night! Infinite was the first group who performed. All their members are total performers. They can dance and sing very well. I had to pick a bias as well (and had a hard time!) but then I picked Dongwoo because I was a bit shocked when I saw him up close. He's too cute!!! And he has this really bright aura (maybe because of his pink hair?) and he really dances really, really well. I was totally amazed. Anyway, here's a picture I took from him. I wish I recorded his dance in video! Plus, they also sang my favorite song 'Nothing's Over' which was not planned but they pulled it off in no time! No wonder they got so many awards recently!

When Tasty performed, there was a problem with their microphones. This duo (they're twins, btw!) is so humble but they have this star quality and for sure, they will be doing good in the industry since they know how to speak in Korean, Chinese, and English (reminds me of Alexander!). Recently, while fanstalking, I just realized that we're off the same age and we're both Pisces. DaerYong/Big D and SoRyong/Lil D were both funny! When SoRyong was asked if they were the ones who did their own choreography, he said in truth that it was a 'no'. HAHA. I don't know if that question to them was really planned or not!

U-Kiss then performed after Tasty. I didn't expect it since I thought it was Tahiti that will perform next. I was walking near the backstage to stalk on EXO and it was too late when I found out that my spot was also taken! I was in panic and so I wasn't able to take pictures of them. I turned my camera off  and just listened to their old and new songs, sang some lines, and followed their fanchants. For me, it was heartbreaking. Two years ago, I met U-Kiss during the Rain Intensity concert. During that time, Rain was my favorite k-pop artist and korean actor. I loved him since I first watched him in 'Full House'. But then, during that concert, it was U-Kiss who captured my heart. I never expected them to be so down-to-earth and purely fun! It was also then that I first met Xander, and him dancing 'Mazik' along with Dongho! His personality was so bright and I had to remove my glasses to double check if I was really seeing a man that I fell in love at first sight. Since then, I followed them in Twitter and bought some albums. I was planning to watch them again and promised myself that I will get buy a VIP ticket so I will see them more up-close! And so... DKFC was really my dream come true. I bought a VIP ticket. Check. I will see U-Kiss again. Check. But Xander was not there. Plus, the remaining members didn't have their happy aura anymore. It feels like they are restricted but... but... maybe it's just me. I really don't know what to say. My tears began to fall when they sang 'Someday'. It was then when I realize that I have to move on and accept the new. The old U-Kiss I love is now long gone. I hope, really hope, that this is for the better.

Tahiti was the next group who performed. I had to regain my composure and wipe the tears away. It was also the time when I was able to tweet. This new girl group was really nice. We could really see that they really work hard. For sure, they will be great artists in the near future. They are also really pretty! Still, I was not able to take photos since I was saving my batteries for EXO M/K (I forgot to buy an extra battery!). I just know that I will be seeing this girl group again! 

And then, EXO M and K entered the stage. Almost all the fangirls were screaming. I had to stay really close to the outer stage and was looking for my bias, Chanyeol. I found him and I melted when he sang while playing the guitar! He was really cute and adorable! He was really shining! His funny expressions made me giggle! I will never regret that he is my bias! Kai's dancing was so hot. No wonder why he has many fangirls! He totally rocked the stage! It was also Kris and Chen who went to our side of the stage. It was then when I consumed all my batteries and took videos of Kris and the other members. I even used my phone to record after my camera died. I was totally starstruck! You can check all my fancams at my YouTube channel.

After EXO's performance, I felt that my knees were already aching. I was literally running everywhere! Since I wasn't really much of a fan of Girl's Generation, I decided to leave the concert stage early and during their performance. I already felt that the VIP ticket I bought was already worth it and so I have to go home. But I left my heart with Dongwoo and Chanyeol!

13th-Jan-2013 06:52 pm - Mom's Birthday
Today is my mom's birthday! She had an early vacation from her house duties in the province and she went to Manila with me last January 3. Although my mom is having (some really serious) major problems about something I don't want to mention, we had our usual shopping spree with all our delight. We also visited major churches here in the Metro and we both prayed that everything will be a lot better for our family. I stayed in our place in Makati and found out our water supply (specifically, water pipe) was broken again. I was wondering why it broke (and got stolen) even when I was not at home. Oh well, living in the metro (with no car) will always be hard.

What have I done 13 days after the New Year? I was searching for another place to stay near my school (If you're not updated, you should know I left my place in Makati and is currently staying in a room in a convent. HAHA.). I went to several apartments, bedspaces, and condos but I'm still undecided where to stay for my clerkship! (Damn! I never thought this will be hard!). I'll be sharing a photo of one of the apartments (and a shot of me, BWAHAHA). It was the cutest, of course, but it was also the most expensive one. Oh well, I have to wait for several years to get a decent income. Who said earning money is just a breeze when you're going to be a doctor? 

And now to share one of my favorite movies last 2012: Moonrise Kingdom! I've watched a few movies with my classmates and friends but this one really made my 2012 complete! This movie reminded me of 'Little Rascals' and 'My Girl'

Although the protagonists in this romantic comedy-drama are two minors, this one is definitely not for the younger population. The characters, Sam and Suzy, had this puppy love that the rest of the people involved will never forget. The music playing during the movie was very memorable, the plot was a bit eccentric (at first) but smoothly written, and all the actors really did their job well (Did I say Bruce Willis is also there?). Although I was a bit terrified and felt weird about the ending, it is still definitely one of my favorite movies. This movie deserves more awards please!

28th-Apr-2012 01:29 am - A Movie Worth Starving For
It's never too late to make a post about 'The Hunger Games' movie and its books. I wanted a clean post without my ultimate fangirl mode like most of the people who followed the said 'craze' a few weeks back. This was the setting when I first watched the movie: I never had any idea about the books and I never tried to search anything about it on purpose...aside from reading some posts about it in 9gag.com before the premiere. I wanted to be moved by a movie once again (and after a long time) and since I felt that it was the perfect movie for what I want, a movie that was highly expected to be a blockbuster,and although I was also upset that a friend wasn't able to watch with me at the last minute, I had enough guts to watch it alone. It was also a lonesome Saturday on one of the deadliest months, March, in med school too and soooo... I definitely need a break.

Armed with a large chicken burrito and coke zero, I entered the cinema and luckily, since I was all alone, I got my favorite movie seat: at the eye level, exactly in the middle of the big screen. When I first looked at the main character, Katniss, I was so sure that I already saw her (but she was blonde that time)... she was also the actress who portrayed as Mystique in the movie 'X-Men: First Class' that I watched almost a year ago. I told myself, 'What a nice choice', since I was also moved by her during the previous movie. Awesome. 

Being also the eldest, I know what Katniss had felt in order to save her little sister from the killfest.. If I was there and one of my little brothers would be called to be a tribute, I would go gaga and volunteer, and wherever District I would be, I would also make history if ever allowed: 2 female tributes in a District. LOL. Whatever.


And then I met Peeta. I was puzzled with his character at first, 'Who the heck is this character?' and thought of him as a soft kind of guy, a type I usually like. He can bake bread, too...Definitely, a big plus. His entire existence in the story was all for Katniss' benefit. Totally jealous. Okay, I have to stop talking about him already or else pink, fat hearts will come out in mid-air and into my system once again. Gale is out of the picture, see??

Last but not the least, the death of Rue awfully made me feel heartbroken. Even when I watched the movie after reading the books again (and even while reading that part in the first book), my heart bled and my lacrimal apparatus overworked. For me, it was a major part of the story from the very beginning and I was not wrong even after reading the trilogy. Even though the visuals during the Games itself was just...so-so, somehow it was backed up with strong acting skills from some of the cast (I cannot name all of them since I'm just a fan and not a movie critic - but I expect much more on Peeta's actor though). Woody Harrelson was also a great actor as Haymitch, even though some good parts of him from the book were not seen in the movie, I am rooting for him for the next movies. He will probably be very funny like in his previous movie, Zombieland.

31st-Dec-2010 12:00 pm - Welcome!
This blog is for LJ friends only. Traitors and spies are not allowed. Please comment if you want to be added.

♥♥♥Thanks a bunch! ♥♥♥

::Visitor count::
22nd-Mar-2008 09:31 am - FOR ALL LJ USERS

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

Why? Because the new owners of LJ said they were going to listen to a user driven advisory board before making any changes, and didn't. They instead tried to take away all GLBT related interest groups, and were about to take away all free, ad free accounts as well and make LJ paid. Basic/free users help drive this site! And paid or not, our interests should not be dictated to us.

This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics.

This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do.

This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of ad-free space.

This is a protest that will educate the new owners that LJ is driven by user-created content.

Content Strike Friday March 21, from midnight to midnight GMT

* We are holding the Content Strike because we want to demonstrate that LiveJournal is content-driven.
* We are holding the Content Strike because we want the new owners of LiveJournal to better understand the power and resolve of the LJ Community of Users.
* We are holding the Content Strike because all of us, Paid, Permanent and Plus users as well as Basic, want to demonstrate our solidarity as a Community of Users. We do not consider Basic users to be freeloaders, we consider them to be valuable content-providers and Friends.
* We are holding the Content Strike because we ache to do something to show our displeasure, and commenting on the news post -- even with cat macros -- just isn't powerful enough!


The strike has three terms:

1. Restore basic accounts for new account creation.
2. Inform users before any change to the site that affects how we use the site or demands on our resources.
3. Run change proposals by the Advisory Board and take their advice into account before implementation of any change.


The 24-hour strike will begin at the following times for the following locations:

Thursday, March 20, 2:00 PM -- Honolulu
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Friday, March 21, 12 Noon -- Suva


How Can I Help?

DO post about this in your own LJ.
DO post and comment about it in appropriate communities.
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DO turn off LoudTwitter and your RSS feeds for 24 hours.

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