Coordination needed against TB - Diabetes tandem - study

The Philippines is not prepared to detect and prevent the complications, including resistance to treatment, posed by the tandem of tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes mellitus (DM).

Researchers of state think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), led by Dr. Emmanuel S. Baja, urge national health agencies to work together to initiate research studies and produce a coordinated response to detect, prevent, and manage the deadly TB-DM tandem in a study released by PIDS. The output of Baja’s study is part of the Health System Research Management Project of the PIDS and the Department of Health (DOH).

The International Diabetes Foundation stated in their 2014 report that people with diabetes are prone to contracting tuberculosis. In countries where there is a rising rate of diabetes, there is an alarming and significantly matching spike in tuberculosis. The compounded infection makes it hard for patients with both TB and DM to respond to treatment.

The World Health Organization in 2011 reported that TB patients who are diagnosed with diabetes have a higher mortality risk.

At present, the Philippines is ranked 15 as an emerging diabetes hotspot. At the same time, the country also has one of the highest notified cases of multidrug resistant TB.
To understand the current state of health programs to address the TB-DM tandem, the PIDS research team surveyed the level of awareness and vigilance among medical practitioners to test TB patients for DM and vice versa.

Majority of surveyed physicians could adequately identify observable symptoms, and correctly answered questions about diagnostic tests for either disease. However, less than half appeared confident about the prevalence and risks of contracting both disease.

More than two thirds do agree that screening for TB in DM patients and DM in TB patients should be performed. About a half of them agree that a TB-DM tandem presents difficulties in treatment.

Focus group discussions with the staff of the National TB Control Program (NTBCP) and the Degenerative Diseases Office (DDO) of the DOH were conducted to determine the current level of coordinated action to control and prevent the TB-DM tandem, as well as evaluate the costs of bidirectional screening.

The study found the lack of consensus among the staff of these agencies on how to address the TB-DM, despite the 2011 WHO recommendation for countries with high rates of either disease to pay attention to the “double burden of disease and the need for joint surveillance, coordinated referral and management systems, a joint research agenda”.

The study also revealed that the DDO staff believed that screening for TB-DM is important and challenging, but they didn’t necessarily view the tandem as a public health issue.

However, the NTBCP disagreed that prevalence of DM in TB patients is an extensive problem, and underlined the concerns that TB diagnosis might stigmatize DM patients. 

The study recommends a pilot study on the tandem disease. The current lack of initiative to detect it could be related to the lack of information to guide the change in detection policies.

The costly implementation of bidirectional screening, especially screening TB in DM patients, also compounds the issue.

The PIDS-DOH study strengthens the argument for a more informed study on the issue. It states, “Given the government’s commitment to the nationwide control of TB, the underexplored frontier of TB among diabetic patients can be among the stretch goals towards increased case detection, management and prevention efforts.”

The national agencies overseeing the care and control of TB and DM need to cooperate to increase awareness among health workers and the general public about the prevalence and risks of the tandem disease.   They have to coordinate their respective policies, programs, and operations, including bidirectional screening, to detect and manage it. 

One Healthy Christmas Basket

Happy Holidays!

How's your simbang gabi?

For most Filipinos, giving gifts to family, friends and loved ones during the most celebrated season in the Philippines is definitely a big deal. They go to great lengths to make sure that their gifts are outside the ordinary, spending much time to make sure that they are truly one of a kind.

One popular gift fare is the so-called “Christmas Basket” of various sizes, filled with assorted goodies such as candies, canned goods, wine, and biscuits. Imagine the excitement of those lucky enough to be on the receiving end of these baskets, a gift-giving tradition that has been part of Filipino culture whenever Christmas time comes.

But instead of giving the “usual” Christmas Basket, you may want to try out something that’s on the healthy side, but equally enjoyable if you want to fill your tummy before Christmas Day: McVitie’s Digestives, UK’s favourite tea time biscuit, is an absolutely perfect item to give out this season.

Apart from seeing the usual ingredients for spaghetti, fruit salad and ham, your loved ones and friends would be surprised to find McVitie’s Digestives in their basket. While a pack of McVitie’s is surely unique, it would also be a healthy gift before people start to indulge on the most sumptuous meals this season. McVitie’s Digestives has fewer calories than most biscuits, less fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, zero cholesterol and transfat that can potentially harm the body. It also has more fiber that helps propagate proper digestion.

Putting the entire McVitie’s Digestives variants such us McVitie’s Original, Whole wheat, Milk Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate in cardboard boxes with simple design patterns could make your gift look elegant.

Going local is also one good option in packaging your McVitie’s Digestives. The Philippines has an array of local produce that can be used as baskets for your goodies like abaca, sinamay, and even the bayong

You can even go crazy in putting other colorful and decorative wrappings in your basket like shredded paper or twine to add color to your present.

So take your pick, either go crazy or go classy in decorating your Christmas basket is your choice. For as long as you’re giving away McVitie’s Digestives, you can never go wrong in giving your loved ones and friends enjoyable yet healthy treats this Christmas, and show them how you say “Happy Holidays!” You may also want to avail of McVitie’s “Buy One Take One” promo and grab as many boxes of McVitie’s Digestives as you want in selected supermarkets this December.

For more info about McVitie’s Digestives, visit or click “Like” on their Facebook page, Distributed in the Philippines by Delfi Marketing Inc., McVitie’s Digestives is available in leading supermarkets nationwide.

Athlete Janice Lagman for Rev3

Happy Holidays! How was your week?

In times like this, what we need is a reliable, safe, and powerful energy drink to effectively fuel our bodies and reliably help maximize our potential.

With the new Rev3 energy drink, Pinoys can enjoy an all-natural, preservatives-free energy pack that can help everyone do more.

USANA Philippines revs up Pinoys to becoming champions with new Rev3 Energy Drink

Whether in sports, work, or life in general, our greatest asset is our body. This intricate, high-powered mechanism allows us to achieve the things we need and drive us towards success and a more enjoyable life. However, there are times when our body slows down.

To make this happen, USANA Philippines recently launched the Rev3 energy drink — an all-natural, preservatives-free energy pack that can help every Filipino make the most of our time and efforts.

“We have always been dedicated to empowering every Filipino to becoming champions in whichever field, passion, or discipline they want to undertake,” says USANA Philippines general manager Aurora “Duday” Gaston. “The addition of Rev3 complements our existing roster of offerings that help bring out the champions in our countrymen.”

Perfect for athletes and those who are just simply always on the go, Rev3 is rich with crisp and clean taste without using any artificial flavourings, sweetness, and colorants. It also contains Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 to replace the lost vitamins during rigorous physical activities like exercise. It also pumps L-Carnitine as well as antioxidants from the all natural caffeine from green and white tea to our bodies to keep us healthy, alert, and energetic.

Even USANA Pilipinas Elite Athlete Janice Lagman, who recently bagged the world championship for Poomsae Freestyle Mixed along with the rest of the national team recently, attests to powerful benefits of Rev3. “I was amazed as to how I was able to sustain the energy needed during the daily rigorous training I had to go through and yet still be active towards the rest of the day without resulting into the usual energy booster ‘sugar crash’,” explains Lagman.

“During the competition, I was confident that I was in my “top shape” to sustain the team formations and win the Gold Medal, and true enough, together with the national players, we won and became the World Champion for Poomsae Freestyle Mixed”

Initially available in Surge Packs, Rev3 easily and conveniently transforms our regular drinking water to a powerful energy booster that can help us pave the way to becoming champions in our own right.

Taking Care of our Teeth

Our teeth is the first body part that grabs public attention and it says a lot about our genes, health and cleanliness habits.

Taking care of it is easy but we do have the tendency to be neglectful about it.

It has been taught since we were kids the proper way of caring our teeth - that we have to brush 3x a day and visit the Dentist regularly. Having a healthy teeth can produce a beautiful smile.
Dr. Steve Mark Gan, President and CEO of GAOC with resident dentists at the opening of #GAOC in St. Luke's Global City. <>
Dr. Steve Mark Gan, President and CEO of GAOC with resident dentists at the opening of #GAOC in St. Luke's Global City.
At the launch of newly open branch GAOC at St. Lukes Global City, the founder Dr. Steve Mark Gan sit in with the press and media over a simple conference about the importance of having a healthy set of teeth.

GAOC at St. Lukes is one of Asia's most advanced and world class dental centers.

#GAOCStLukesOpening Congratulations for another Center of Excellence. It's not just a smile, it's a statement! 😃

Being a good example to their tagline 'It's not just a smile, it's a statement' Dr. Gan imparted his goal in putting up his clinic and that is to really change the dentistry landscape of the Philippines.

It does not stop by just learning that there is a dental clinic alone but to educate many people that they can go to a place where they can have their teeth taken care of and can help them concerning all problems about it.

So if you are feeling scared of going to a Dentist due to serious teeth problem, GAOC clinic can help you know more.

Aside from making his patients look more beautiful and confident, Dr. Gan wishes to work with patients with more serious dental problem.

GAOC specializes in General Dentistry, Dental Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry.

 To view photos during the opening of GAOC St. Lukes go to my flickr page.

For more information you may visit their website and like them on facebook.


Late 2005, Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda visited his clinic for a surgery and then they started thanking Dr. Steve Gan in The Buzz and that started him getting a lot of celebrity patients. He is now known as the Dentist of the stars.


My food of the week

This is the first week of Christmas. 

Thank you kalabasa, mongo and Jamba Juice.

Thank you Yoga, running and volleyball.

Looking forward for a great week ahead.


A healthy weekend at Nurture Spa

At last I got the time to relax at Nurture Spa in Tagaytay. The nearest place I know where I can spend a complete relaxation. A place where I can be free from pollution and stress.

During my vacation at the end of November and in celebration of Thanksgiving my weekend was such a great time.

Nurture spa offers a blissful place, healthy food, peaceful home and they really value  their clients.

I'd like to commend a great service during my stay. It was such a good time.

Aside from enjoying to stay I also love to take photos around.

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