DEPARTMENT of Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag will grace the kick-off of Baguio Day celebrations on August 31 with a dance number to promote healthy lifestyle among city residents.

Tayag, DOH's ambassador for health lifestyle, will lead the ‘Go for Health’ initiative – a healthy lifestyle movement to prevent non-communicable diseases through physical activity, healthy diet, responsible drinking and no smoking – in the opening ceremonies of the Baguio Day celebrations.

The health official who has performed popular dance hits Gangnam Style, Gentleman and Waka-Waka as a healthy lifestyle advocate will share inputs on healthy lifestyle advocacies and the department’s aims for Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or universal healthcare.

Meanwhile, as National Breastfeeding Awareness month comes to a close, the Department of Health has reiterated the importance of safe motherhood, child health and nutrition, and family health.

The DOH’s Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan: Kalusugan Pangkalahatan on Wheels health caravan will head to the city to take part in a health care and medical mission set on August 31 in time for the city’s 104th Charter Day.

Medical practitioners, civic and other sector volunteers are all set for the humanitarian mission to be held at the Baguio City Hall grounds.

The event will feature simultaneous breastfeeding by some 300 lactating mothers to stress the fact that no infant formula can approximate the nourishment and immunity from diseases that babies derive from breast milk.

Sessions will be conducted on teenage pregnancy and adolescent reproductive health.

Also to be highlighted in the event is a contest and tableau dramatizing the negative effects of smoking in line with the city’s campaign towards a 100% smoke-free Baguio City.

Baguio City health officer Dr. Florence Reyes said the main beneficiaries of the event will be the poorest of the poor, including mothers, children and senior citizens. Reyes expects as many as 5,000 residents to benefit from the health services planned for the day.

“We are expecting that the event will boost the morale of the health services sector and show that we are working on preventive medicine and not just curative health services,” Reyes said.

The LBK-KP will render basic health services and provide a health clinic, an interactive exhibit, classes and educational fun games in between.

The innovative public health initiative of the Department of Health’s National Center for Health Promotion is expected to add to the festive atmosphere in line with a variety of events organized by the Baguio Health Department.

The mobile health caravan aims to provide a fun and interactive way for mothers, fathers, and children to learn to stay healthy. Health services and consultation on prenatal care and child nutrition will also be provided.

The health caravan will have mothers and fathers listening to critical information on health practices, and children participating in songs, stories and interactive exhibits to learn how to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. Video presentations, health classes, storytelling sessions, and entertainment shows will be held to complement the health services delivery.

Victory Liner, which is also the provider of DOH’s LBK-KP bus, committed P500,000 worth of medicines and health care packages, including 300 health kits for pregnant women, for the event.

The LBK-KP was first launched in March 2011 in Capas, Tarlac servicing more than 1,000 Aetas, mostly children and women on safe motherhood, child health and nutrition, and family health. Replete with a colorful fiesta setting, the program which featured a customized bus has since then served thousands of indigent families and communities in other areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

LBK has travelled to 26 areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao directly serving over 50,000 people. In addition, over 3,700 pregnant women and nearly 15,000 children received prenatal and child care services on the bus.

"Walang Iwanan sa Biyaheng Kalusugan. This gives the audience the feeling that they are not just passengers but also drivers of this journey. Long after the LBK bus has left their community, they continue to safeguard their health and that of their family," Dr. Tayag said.

Partners include Victory Liner, PhilHealth, Probe Media Foundation, Philippine Press Institute, Dakila, Ellite Ads, Association of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates and HealthBeat Magazine.