THE PHILIPPINES is underway to become one of the healthiest populations in Southeast Asia by 2022 and in Asia by 2040 said Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Abdullah B. Dumama Jr.

During the Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday, November 28, Dumama said one of the manifestations of having a healthy population is the proper management of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

“We are slowly achieving our goals. In fact, one of the pieces of evidence is the way we handled Covid-19. We are among the healthiest in Asia from 2020 to 2022. As far as I know, we are one of the best countries in Asia when it comes to handling and addressing the Covid-19 situation. Since then, we have maintained a downward trend in cases,” he said.

He added that community resilience is also a determinant of a healthy population amidst Covid-19 and other diseases.

“Until now, we want to achieve community resilience or the wall of immunity, which is a bigger and stronger level of immunity that encapsulates all aspects of health compared to herd immunity that is only focused on protection against Covid-19,” he said.

According to DOH’s quality policy, it “is committed to nurturing Filipinos to be amongst the healthiest in Southeast Asia by 2022 and Asia by 2040 through the development of a productive, resilient, equitable, and people-centered health system.”

Meanwhile, Dumama said health promotion is prioritized by DOH due to its importance in managing diseases among communities.

“Due to the Universal Health Care law, health promotion is given importance because it cuts across all health programs. You can even see that health promotion has a bigger budget than any program because it helps people understand various health diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, and non-communicable diseases.

Dumama said it is high time for the budget for health promotion to be increased in all regions. JDC