(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 15 July 2024) Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to ITCZ. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from Southwest to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Thursday, 15 February 2024

Gender committee in Caraga calls for equal, priority push to promote men's health

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The Gender and Development Committee of the Regional Development Council has made a comprehensive assessment of men’s health and wellness in the Caraga region.

During the 1st quarter general assembly of the RGAD, Alexander Makinano, regional director of the Commission on Population and Development, said that men's health is critical but often an overlooked component of the population in the country.

“In Caraga Region, men face lower life expectancy along with higher rates of communicable and non-communicable diseases compared to women. Raising awareness through a comprehensive briefer on men's health status, behaviors, and access to healthcare can inform targeted interventions to address these disparities,” said Makinano. 

This briefing synthesized the key data and provided actionable recommendations to improve health outcomes for men across all life stages in the region.

Data showed that the life expectancy for men stood at just 65.7 years, nearly four years below the national average of 69.8 years. This troubling gap highlighted the need for targeted action to address the determinants of morbidity and premature mortality among men in the region.

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the leading causes of death among men, followed by cancer, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. The prevalence of risk factors is alarmingly high. #

“For example, 37.7 percent of men use tobacco products, exceeding the national average of 29.9 percent. Over half of men consume alcohol regularly. Unhealthy diets prevail across the region. At the same time, only 14.9 percent of men have health insurance coverage ,compared to 22.3 percent of women, based on the latest data. Men are also less likely to obtain preventive care like cancer screenings,” explained Makinano.

Also, provincial disparities emerged in the data. Accordingly, men in Surigao del Norte have the highest smoking prevalence at 42.3 percent, based on a 2019 community health assessment. Rural municipalities suffer from poor access to healthcare services and facilities. While the Department of Health’s (DOH) implemented programs like free screenings, men's health remained a lower priority compared to maternal and child health. 

Makinano emphasized that socioeconomic and cultural factors exacerbated these challenges. Stigma prevented men from seeking care services for physical and mental conditions. “Notions of masculinity pressure men into risky behaviors while discouraging self-care. Poverty limits access and negatively impacts health. Comprehensive solutions require multi-sectoral action engaging government, civil society, communities, and the private sector,” he said. 

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) representative also joined the members of the Regional Development Council - Regional Gender and Development Committee (RDC-RGADC) Caraga during the 1st quarter general assembly presided over by RGADC Chairperson and Regional Director Alexander Makinano, held at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office in Butuan City. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

The RGADC chair also called on men to do the following in order to improve their health and well-being: 

• Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases; 

•Reduce alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a number of health problems, including liver disease, heart damage, and cancer; 

•Eating a healthy diet: A healthy diet should be low in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt and moderate in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; 

• Getting regular physical activity: Regular physical activity can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health, and boost self-esteem; and 

• Seeking help for mental health problems: If you are struggling with a mental health problem, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.

Makinano further urged all local government units to help advocate for and intensify campaigns on the healthy lifestyle of men and women. 

“Robust data, community mobilization, targeted financing, and political commitment are instrumental to promoting health equity and improving outcomes for men in Caraga Region. This briefer synthesized evidence will enhance understanding, inform effective interventions, and catalyze stakeholders towards collective action to advance men's health,” remarked Makinano. 

This briefing was then approved and adopted by the members of the RDC-RGADC Caraga. (JPG/PIA-Caraga with a report from RDC-RGADC 13)