PSPGHAN SHIFTS TO HIGH GEAR
By Dr. Portia Menelia Decano-Monreal, Secretary

There is no stopping the Philippine Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (PSPGHAN) from making meaningful impact in the medical profession and in the community. What with the very encouraging leadership of its president, Dr. Mary Jean Villa-Real-Guno and the unity among its highly competent members, there is no way for this medical society to slow down.

The PSPGHAN, thru its President Dr. Mary Jean Villa-Real –Guno and highly driven members, have charted five major advocacies, which determine the society’s programs, projects and actions.

I. MALNUTRITION: UNDER AND OVER

Aiming to enhance the medical profession to levels of excellence on malnutrition management, Chair Dr. Karen Mondonedo and members Dr. Juliet Sio-Aguilar, Dr. Charo Dizon, Dr. Grace Battad, Dr. Malou Tan, Dr. Rebecca Castro, and Dr. Gabby Martinez, led the Workshop on Integrated Management on Acute Malnutrition. This undertaking took off last August 15 – 16, 2012 at the Westmont Hall, Bonaventure Plaza, Greenhills attended by members from various parts of the Philippines. As an offshoot of this project, another workshop on the creation of Clinical Pathway was held last December 5, 2012 at the PPS Building.

This passionate team is set again for another biggie project this coming PPS 50th Annual Convention scheduled on April 15, 2013. The Malnutriton team members will present the updates and innovations on acute malnutrition management during the Simultaneous Sessions.

2) ROTAVIRUS PREVENTION PROGRAM

In order to reduce the incidence of diarrhea in the country especially in the blighted urban and rural areas, PSPGHAN felt the to need to be in the forefront of this campaign.

Hence, sometime on July 2012, the PSPGHAN agreed to be part of the Rotavirus Vaccine Campaign along with the Phil. Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Phil. (PIDSP) and GSK. Their concerted efforts brought the rotavirus vaccine close to the masses by its inclusion in the DOH Expanded Immunization Program. Dr. Juliet Sio-Aguilar is the service champion of this endeavor.

Aside from the Rotavirus vaccine campaign, the DOH expects the PSPGHAN to help in the fight against diarrhea by advocating proper handwashing. Hopefully, this anti-diarrhea drive will make great impact especially among children living in communities with less water supply.

3) BREASTFEEDING ADVOCACY

The PSPGHAN strongly believes in the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well being of infants and children. It is therefore leaving no stones unturned in making the stakeholders understand the value of breastfeeding.

In cooperation with Department of Health NCDPC Program Officer Dr. Anthony Calibo, UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi, Nutrition Center of the Philippines Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Solon and the Philippine Star, the PSPGHAN through its leading advocate Dr. Rebecca Castro pushed for the sustained promotion of breastfeeding.

PSPGHAN, along with other medical societies such as PMA, PPS, POGS, signed a position paper on the Consolidated Bill on Breastfeeding and attended Congressional Committee hearings on. The society also supported the news article, “Pediatricians Laud Lawmakers for Studying Milk Law.”

4) LIVER CARAVAN

Dr. Mita Gregorio, Chair, together with members Dr. Karen Mondonedo, Dr. Karen Mercado, Dr. Jossie Rogacion, Dr. Josephine Tan, and Dr. Pearl Quitain embarked on a journey of the Liver Caravan project, entitled “Atay Kang Bata Ka”, which will be launched during the 5th Regional Conference of the society scheduled on March 6, 2013 at the Baguio Country Club with PPS Norlu Chapter, under President Dr. Rainelda Runez.

On said occasion, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials will be unveiled such as the (a) UMED module “Jaundice beyond two weeks”, (b) Lay information sheets on Biliary Atresia, Viral Hepatitis, Fatty Liver printed in various languages and dialects; and (c) a project video on liver care which can be accessed thru http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gQv3cOEqhM

Partnering with the PSPGHAN on this liver caravan project are: Health Care Magazine (PPD) Jan-Mar 2013 issue (BA) and Medical Observer e print Q1 2013 (BA) Website

5) CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE INJURY PREVENTION

Because of the alarming increase in caustic substance injury caused by modern lifestyle and rampant use of artificial products, the PSPGHAN sees befitting to issue its own stand on the matter for the health and guidance of the community.

Under the expertise of Dr. Charo Batac-Dizon and Dr Grace Uy, the PSPGHAN is expected to issue a Joint Policy Statement with the PPS on Prevention of Caustic Substance Injury.

Working with Dr. Dizon and Dr. Uy are Dr. Emma Llanto, President of the Society of Adolescent Medicine of the Philippines (SAMPI) and Dr Nerissa Dando, the Adolescent Medicine lead person for policy.

While it is true that PSPGHAN may be in full speed in the promotion of its advocacies, members have activities that promote better communication and relationship among peers. For one, the PSPGHAN website www.pspghan.org connects the society with other pediatricians. Secondly, last year’s christmas party and get together certainly helped achieve these goals.

For 2013, PSPGHAN continues to reign! Backed up by the members’ full support, PSPGHAN embarks on more projects and undertakings that improve the care and clinical outcomes of children with gastrointestinal, liver and nutrition disorders. For networking opportunities, please call PSPGHAN Secretariat 355 7499, 0917 748 9550 or log on to www.pspghan.org