HEALTH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire highlighted at an international forum the social determinants of health and cited the Philippines’s Covid-19 experience, which led to some heart diseases due to several factors outside the realm of health.
At the World Heart Summit 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland, Vergeire stressed the need to address all other factors outside of health, which remains to be a significant root cause of ill health.
“Hopefully the plateau we are seeing in non-communicable disease death risk will soon transition into a decline through our promotive, preventive, and curative interventions. We also aim to continue our collaboration with the WHO [World Health Organization] to learn from other countries’ best practices, as well as to share ours,” Vergeire said during the plenary.
Joining Vergeire on the panelist for the first plenary session were Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health and Population of Egypt; Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health of Ghana; Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, Minister of Health of Barbados, among other policy makers.
Vergeire also underscored the need to ensure ethical recruitment of healthcare workers.
“This not only serves as an avenue to share long established effective interventions, but also new and innovative solutions, recognizing that the risk of NCDs [non-communicable diseases] is increasing due to technological advancements, including the invention of electronic cigarettes and increase in sedentary behavior among children at home or adults in the workplace due to technologies,” said Vergeire.
Carrying the theme “Cardiovascular Health for Everyone,” the Summit convened global health leaders to discuss pressing concerns and issues on cardiovascular health, especially in the aspect of policy making.
For the first day, key players in global health, including policy makers and strategic partners shared their views on World Heart Vision 2030, what it means for them in their work, and how they see it implemented going forward.
Vergeire went to Switzerland with Health Systems Development Team (HSDT) Undersecretary Dr. Lilibeth David, Management Services Team (MST) Undersecretary Ma. Carolina Taiño and other Department of Health officials and staff.