(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 18 May 2021) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao. Easterlies affecting the rest of the country. Caraga regions will experience partly to Cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to Moderate winds coming from East will prevail in the Region. While Coastal Waters will be Slight to Moderate with wave height from 0.6 to 2.1 meters.

PIA News Service - Saturday, September 7, 2013

DOH-Caraga spearheads National Tuberculosis Awareness Month celeb

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 7 – The Department of Health (DOH) Caraga spearheaded this year's celebration of the National Tuberculosis Awareness Month in Caraga region.

DOH-Caraga Regional Director Ariel I. Valencia the celebration of the National Tuberculosis Awareness Month aims to better inform the public and reiterate the facts surrounding Tuberculosis. "By spreading awareness and appropriate information, we hope to decrease if not, eradicate the social stigma which hinders our citizens, afflicted by such disease, from accessing and completing treatment."

“With the celebration of the National Lung Month and the National Tuberculosis Awareness Month, let us collaborate and coordinate our efforts to spread awareness of Tuberculosis and other illnesses that affect the lung. Also, I would like to reiterate the effects of smoking and the hazards it brings to the user and the greater hazard it presents to the population exposed to second and third-hand smoke,” said Valencia.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Facts on Tuberculosis (TB), 2011: 8.7 million fell ill with TB; 1.4 million died from TB, including 430, 000 people living with HIV (PLHIV); 70, 000 children died due to TB globally; TB is the leading killer of PLHIV; TB death rate decreased by 41% since 1990; 80% of reported TB cases occurred in 22 countries; Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), due to inappropriate or incorrect TB Drugs, do not respond to the standard TB treatment and is difficult to treat; there is an estimated 630, 000 people with MDR-TB; 51 million TB patients have been successfully treated since 1995 worldwide.

Of the 3,134 cases of TB in Caraga in 2011 who accessed treatment from various institutions including RHUs, BHS’, Public-Private Mix DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy – Short Course), 92% or 2, 885 were cured with proper treatment and support from their significant others; while 2% of the cases or 63 individuals died.

In 2012, a total of 3, 228 new smear positive cases were recorded. 171 were screened with Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), of which, 24 were enrolled in the treatment program. 3 of the 24 cases died; and 1 default (stopped) treatment.

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, that most often affect the lungs. It is spread from one person to another through the air when infected people cough, sneeze or spit. TB is manifested by cough, possibly with bloody mucus, fatigue, shortness of breath, weight loss, slight fever that usually occurs in the afternoon, and night sweats. TB is confirmed by Direct Sputum Smear Microscopy (DSSM) which detects the acid-fast bacilli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. Treatment modalities are provided by the government through the Hospitals, RHUs and DOTS Centers to address the needs of people infected by TB. However, stigma and discrimination prove to be the primary barrier for these persons to access treatment. (DOH-13/PIA-Caraga)

Feature: What diabetic persons should know about diabetes

By Imelda A. Agdeppa

Recent studies on large numbers of people with diabetes show that those who keep their blood sugar under tight control best avoid the complications of diabetes like heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower extremity amputations.

Experts agree that what works best for people with diabetes – and everyone for that matter – is regular exercise, little saturated and trans fatty acids, and a high–fiber diet. Carbohydrates break quickly during digestion and can raise the blood sugar to dangerous levels.

Glycemic index (GI) ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much our blood sugar increases after we eat. When diabetic patients make use of the glycemic index to prepare healthy meals, it keeps their blood sugar levels and weight under control.

Many carbohydrate-rich foods have high glycemic indexes, and they certainly are not good in any substantial quantity for people with diabetes. Other carbohydrates like complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber break down more slowly, releasing glucose gradually into our blood streams and are said to have lower glycemic indexes which are good for diabetic patients.

Studies on glycemic indexes by experts showed that many of the starchy foods we eat a lot produce the highest glycemic response. These are white bread, some breakfast cereals, e.g. cornflakes, rice and baked potatoes but complex carbohydrates present in potatoes are digestible. Low glycemic foods include beans, barley, pasta, oats, apples, oranges, peaches, peanuts, strawberries, sweet corn and carrots. Likewise, vinegar, and lemon juice help reduce glycemic load, the amount of carbohydrate in a serving of a particular food.

Many foods have few available carbohydrates in a standard serving. We call these the "free foods" because they are essentially free of any impact on your blood sugar. These foods contain less than 5 grams of available carbohydrate in a 100-gram portion. The rest of the portion is protein, fat, fiber, ash and water.  Examples of these foods are: (1) vegetables – asparagus, beans, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, okra, mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, turnips and peppers; (2) fruits – avocados, raspberries, strawberries; (3) eggs and dairy – cheese, milk, eggs, yogurt plain; (4) beverages – coffee, diet soda, tea and water.

The glycemic index should not, however, be the only criterion when selecting what to eat. The total amount of carbohydrate, the amount and type of fat, and the fiber and salt content are also important. Consider also, that, factors such as variety, cooking, and processing may affect a food’s glycemic index.

The Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos developed by the Technical Working Group led by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) recommends to eat a variety of foods everyday in order to have a well balance diet.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, E-Mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com, Telefax: (02) 8372934, (02) 8273164, or call (02) 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http:www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

Feature: FNRI recommends using iodized salt in meat products

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

MANILA, Sept 7 -- The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) recommends using iodized salt in processed foods like ham, tocino, tapa, hotdog, sausage, longganisa and the like.

These are all-time favorites of the young and grown-ups alike for meals and snacks.

Using iodized salt in processing meat products may increase the iodine available in the diet of consumers patronizing processed food items.

Availability of iodine in the diet may help maintain optimum nutrition, as this micronutrient helps prevent goiter, impaired mental function, retarded physical development and congenital anomalies among children.

 Food fortification is one of the strategies in preventing micronutrient deficiency in the population.

The FNRI believes that universal salt iodization (USI) is the recommended strategy to eliminate iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) in the population by using salt to carry iodine in the diet.

Related to this, the FNRI-DOST conducted a study on the quality of salt in the Philippines, led by the group of Marcela C. Saises, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Food Research and Development Group.

The study found that salt produced in Pangasinan and Occidental Mindoro are safe for human consumption.

The trace elements found in salt, such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, calcium and magnesium were found to conform to the acceptable levels set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Saises' group also studied the effects of iodized salt on the quality of meat products such as ham, tocino and hotdog.

The study found that the meat products using iodized salt had higher iodine content while the color was enhanced making the product or a bit darker.

The meat products, when tested for shelf-life, were found to retain high iodine content and the general acceptability levels were close to "like very much".

Further studying the iodine levels retained in processed foods after boiling, frying and steaming, Saises' group found that significant amounts were retained in cooked meats seasoned with iodized salt.

Results of studies of Saises' group were used as basis in promoting the mandatory use of iodized salt in processed food products.

The FNRI-DOST recommends including iodine-rich food in daily meals, like fish, shellfish, and seaweeds.

Iodized salt and processed meats containing iodized salt are also recommended in moderate amounts as good sources of iodine.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City. E-mail: mcv@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com Telefax: 837-2934 and 827-3164, or call: 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Services/PIA-Caraga)

Feature: Himbaba-o: odd but tasty and nutritious veggie

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

MANILA, Sept 7 -- Himbaba-o is an indigenous vegetable in the Philippines.  According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), himbaba-o is widely grown in the Philippines. As proof, the DENR gathered unique names for himbaba-o in the different provinces of the Philippines. 

In Luzon, it is known as alukon in Ilocos, baeg in Pangasinan, alokon bongon in Mt. Province, himbaba-o in Nueva Ecija, kabag in Mindoro, alitagtag in Camarines. While in the Visayas, himbaba-o is known as bulbulan in Cebu and Negros, and talubang in Siquijor. In Mindanao, himbaba-o is known as karud in Misamis, liba in Davao, and malabingan in Sulu.

Himbaba-o is a small to medium-sized tree. Horticulturists classify himbaba-o as a dioecious tree. Dioecious trees have male and female flowers in separate trees. Thus, it is important for the male and female trees to be planted near each other for pollination to occur.

The DENR reports that himbaba-o is a drought-tolerant and fast-growing species. In Mindanao, himbaba-o wood is used for paneling, furniture, and cabinetwork. In the Visayas, the wood is used in making boats and canoes because it is water resistant.

The Ilocanos use the himbaba-o's tender young leaves and the flowers as ingredients for vegetable stew.

The Philippine Food Composition Tables (FCT) published by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) reports that the himbaba-o flower contains 362 milligrams of calcium and 645 micrograms of beta-carotene while the same amount of leaves contain 357 micrograms of calcium and 3,035 micrograms of beta-carotene  per 100 grams edible portion each.

My grandmother, an Ilocana, used to cook stewed himbaba-o topped with fried fish. The dish is popularly known as dinendeng or inabrao. Here's how to prepare it:


2-3 tablespoons bagoong na isda

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup, patani or young lima beans, peeled
1/2 cup saluyot leaves, clean and trimmed
1/2 cup himbaba--o flowers, clean and trimmed
1 piece fried fish


Dilute bagoong na isda in 2 cups hot water and strain. Simmer water seasoned with bagoong  for 2 minutes then add garlic and patani. Simmer for 3 minutes or until patani is tender. Add saluyot and himbaba-o flowers and simmer for 5 minutes or until himbaba-o and saluyot leaves turn deep green and the broth becomes thick. Top with fried fish and cook for a minute. Serve hot.

The FNRI-DOST promotes the use of indigenous vegetables. Recently, FNRI-DOST recently published "Lutong FNRI: Mga Katutubong Gulay," a collection of indigenous vegetable recipes from soup to dessert. The collection also contains information on the yield per recipe and the estimated energy and nutrient content per serving.

"Lutong FNRI: Mga Katutubong Gulay" and other nutritious recipes are available at the FNRI-DOST Library and soon it will be uploaded in the FNRI website.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, E-Mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com, Telefax: (02) 8372934, (02) 8273164, or call (02) 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http:www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)

Brown rice: The heart-healthier choice

By Ma. Susana O. Encarnacion

Do you know that brown rice or “unpolished rice” is more nutritious than white rice? Rice when polished loses significant amount of calcium, phosphorous and thiamine.  Brown rice, with only the husk removed retains its brown color due to the bran layer left intact. This bran layer is also believed to have cholesterol lowering effects.  It is rich in dietary fiber which may reduce the risk factors associated with constipation, hypertension, diabetes and colorectal cancer.

Despite its health benefits, only a few people use brown rice.  It is because brown rice has short shelf life.  Moreover, it is not usually available in the market due to low supply and consumers are not aware of its health benefits.

In support of the government’s advocacy to promote brown rice, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) conducted a study that has been able to extend the shelf-life of brown rice from its original one to four months to 4 to 9 months.

The consumption of brown rice because of its higher milling recovery and higher satiety value may provide a promising solution to our country’s problem of rice shortage and importation.  This may contribute significantly to the realization of the Filipino dream of rice self-sufficiency.

Now that you know that brown rice is good for your health and our economy, isn’t it time to shift from white rice to brown rice?

This message is brought to you by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, the government’s lead agency on food and nutrition research and development. For more information, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, FNRI-DOST, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telefax Numbers: 837-2934 and 837-3164; email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph, mar_v_c@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)