Various medical associations and governmental bureaus have recognized the dedication of the City Government of Valenzuela in actively advocating healthcare and wellness to its constituents, making the city the venue of choice for the kick off of the 7th Goiter Awareness Week (GAW) dubbed as “Goiter Sugpuin, Isip Patalinuhin, Iodized Salt Gamitin,” held this Wednesday, January 23, at the Valenzuela City Auditorium.
The theme for the 7th GAW, “Goiter and the Community” is correlated with the chairmanship of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), which seeks to mobilize professional associations and local government units to directly interact with the population at high risk.
Valenzuela City Mayor WIN Gatchalian expressed his timeless support to medical practitioners who proved themselves instrumental in reaching out to indigent patients who either in need of treatment or further information about their condition. “The importance of educating our fellow Valenzuelanos of thyroid health is very invaluable. Working hand in hand with willing medical agencies is one way of maximizing our resources to make information-dissemination programs efficient and effective,” he shared.
Goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland which can lead to a swelling of the neck or larynx. Worldwide, over 90% cases of goiter are caused by iodine deficiency.
Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) is a common cause of preventable mental retardation and impeded learning ability among children. A lack of iodine during pregnancy has also been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and stillbirth.
Some 150 pregnant and lactating women from various barangays of Valenzuela have been invited as special guests to receive relevant medical information on IDD. Thyroid screening, supplementary iodized oil capsules and 250 grams of free iodized salts were some of the gratuities the attendees received from the event sponsors.
The second part of the kick-off program was held at Gen. T. De Leon Elementary School to spread awareness among students on the relevance of iodine utilization to their performance at school. Free thyroid screening and salt testing highlighted the program.
PNA Zone 2 – CAMANAVA Governor Fred B. Ruiz, ICCIDD Country Representative Teofilo O.L. San Luis Jr., and Philippine Nurses Association National President Noel C. Cadete, were the medical luminaries who graced the two-fold event.
City Health Department OIC Dr. Jaime Exconde also shared Valenzuela City’s active involvement on the implementation of RA 8172, An Act Promoting Salt Iodization Nationwide and for Related Purposes, otherwise known as, the “Asin Law.” City nutritionists conduct quarterly salt testing in identified sites to ensure that iodized salts are 100% available in public markets.
The 1st GAW was chaired by Philippine Thyroid Association in 2007, followed by International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorder in 2008, Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2009, Philippine Society of Nuclear Medicine in 2010, Department of Health (kick off at Cagayan de Oro City) in 2011, and Philippine College of Occupational Medicine (kick off at Quezon City) in 2012. The 8th GAW chairmanship was conferred to Philippine Nurses Association, Inc.