Philippine Digestive Health Week 2022


Philippine Digestive Health Week 2022

The Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG) is the leading society of all gastroenterologists in the Philippines. Founded in 1960, PSG currently has 513 active members serving in different parts of the archipelago.

Since 2007, the Society in its capacity as a non-stock, non-profit, non-governmental organization has been celebrating the second week of March of every year as Philippine Digestive Health Week (PDHW). During PDHW, the Society conducts health advocacy campaigns to promote digestive health consciousness among the general public. PDHW is also the time when PSG holds its Joint Annual Convention (JAC) together with the Philippine Society of Digestive Endoscopy (PSDE) and the Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP). This year’s PDHW-JAC will be held virtually on March 11-12 and 18-19, 2022.

However, the PSG realized that celebrating PDHW as an NGO made it more challenging for the Society to implement nationwide health advocacy programs, especially when the involvement of local government units is necessary. Moreover, the observance of a national health awareness day, week or month has been shown to be an effective way to promote awareness, educate the public and secure vital resources for the prevention and management of various diseases and conditions. On September 10, 2019, the PSG sent a formal letter of request to President Rodrigo R. Duterte. On March 18, 2020 the President signed Proclamation No. 930 declaring the second week of March of every year as Philippine Digestive Health Week.

The presidential proclamation mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to lead, coordinate and supervise the nationwide yearly observance of PDHW, with the main objective of increasing awareness and educating the public on the prevention and management of various diseases and conditions relating to digestive health. These include colorectal cancer, liver cancer, peptic ulcer disease, diarrhea, and stomach cancer, which are among the leading causes of sickness and death in the country.

It also directs all other agencies of the National Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, and encourages all local government units and the private sector, civil society groups and professional organizations, to actively participate in the annual PDHW celebration and provide the necessary support to the DOH for the successful conduct of programs, projects and activities related to PDHW.

This year, the PSG in collaboration with the Department of Health, will conduct its second national activity in observance of PDHW. The PDHW 2022 will be observed on March 6-12, 2022 with the theme “‘Empowering Filipinos to Care for their Digestive Health: Malusog na Tiyan, Masiglang Katawan” which aims to promote awareness on digestive health among Filipinos. All events will be held virtually. As a kickoff activity, an opening ceremony and press briefing entitle: “Malusog na tyan at bituka sa gitna ng pandemya”, will be held on March 7, 2022 at 9:00am-12:00noon.

A series of GI Talakayan for “bulilits” and the “young once” every 3:00 pm and “Tummy Talks” show episodes every 6:00 p.m. for the public will also be conducted on March 7-9,2021. Colorectal cancer screening webinars for barangay health workers, barangay health workers, and primary care physicians will also be held on March 7, 2022. These initiatives demonstrate the PSG’s full support for the DOH mandate to promote the health and wellbeing of every Filipino, and to prevent and control diseases among populations at risk.