Last year, among the top 10 leading causes of death in the country included chronic lung disease, tuberculosis, pneumonia, CoViD-19 infection, and lung cancer. Out of the four million Filipinos who contracted CoViD-19, 280,000 continue to suffer from long CoViD syndrome.
Despite the enactment of several laws to curb smoking in the country, many Filipinos are still suffering from smoking-related lung diseases. The need for pulmonary rehabilitation to help those suffering from difficulty in breathing remains. Along with this is the need for an improved venue where pulmonary rehabilitation can be best carried out—both for in person and virtual sessions.
Located at the Philippine General Hospital is the UP- PGH Pulmonary Care Center & Post CoViD Hub which aims to help Filipinos afflicted with chronic lung diseases and long CoViD-19 syndrome to breathe and live better. It is a milestone in healthcare as it is the first post-CoVid hub in the country.
It was recently inaugurated with PGH Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi; Division of Pulmonary Medicine Head Dr. Lenora C. Fernandez; Dr. Joselito Chavez, former chief of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine; Dr. Carissa Paz C. Dioquino, Chair, Department of Neurosciences; Dr. John Anonuevo, Chair, Department of Medicine; and fellows of the Pulmonary Division, among others. SM Foundation was represented by Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs Connie Angeles; Board of Trustee Engr. Gil Macapagal; Senior Project Manager Albert Uy and Assistant Project Manager Roma Hierro in attendance.
It is the 199th SM Foundation Wellness Center and is the third project of SM Foundation with PGH’s Division of Pulmonary Medicine. The first was the renovation of the Pulmonary room at the Out Patient Department. This was followed two years later with the renovation of another room to house the CPET (Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise Testing) machine and as venue of Pulmonary rehab sessions.
The UP- PGH Pulmonary Care Center and Post CoViD Hub has the following services: multi-disciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation program; comprehensive diagnostic assessment for chronic lung diseases and long CoViD syndrome; smoking cessation program; asthma education program; lung cancer and interstitial lung disease multi-disciplinary care; and hoe care referral network provision.
It is under the Division of Pulmonary Medicine of UP-PGH headed by Dr. Lenora C. Fernandez, M.D. Aside from the country’s top pulmonologists, it boasts of a multi-disciplinary medical team from the UP-PGH’s Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurosciences, Family Medicine, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Respiratory therapists as well as the Medical Social Services and Dietary Section are also partners in dispensing the Hub’s services.