Health agency develops materials to prevent NCDs

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CALAMBA CITY, Laguna: The Department of Health (DOH) realized the need to promote healthy diet among Filipinos to prevent and control four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevalent in the Philippines, namely hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and overweight/obesity.

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In line with this, the agency conducted a writeshop on the Development of a Prototype Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) Materials for the Promotion of Healthy Diet at the Ciudad Christhia 9 Waves Resort, San Mateo, Rizal last June 27-30.

The rationale of the event revolves around the importance of IEC materials as tools to encourage public consumption of healthy diet, hence, help in the collective effort to prevent and control the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and diabetes which are among the top ten leading causes of death in our country at present.

DOH Lifestyle Related Disease Division Supervising Health Program Officer (HEPO) Rosemarie Holandes, RND, headed the writeshop. “With the presentations given to us…ang daming messages na lalaro sa isip natin kung paano natin siya madedevelop into talagang laymanized messages na idedevelop nating materials [With the presentations given to us, plenty of messages may play in our minds as to how we can laymanize the messages of the materials we are going to develop],” she said on the first day of the writeshop after the presentations on NCD Time Trends and Nutrition Practice Guidelines for selected NCDs.

Participants were divided into groups based on the four NCDs as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and overweight/obesity.

DOH Communication and Multimedia Development Division Chief Rosemarie Aguirre, MPH, discussed how to develop a communications plan including the rationale, objectives, target audience, message development and communication handle.

On the second day, the aesthetics and designing of IEC materials was discussed by CMD Division Information Officer Diosdado Angeles, Jr. He emphasized the importance of designing an appealing IEC material that will catch the attention of readers to actually read the content containing the messages we intend to convey to them about healthy diet.

The participants also formulated on the same day their Strategic Communications Plan for each NCD that served as the basis for creating and developing IEC materials devoted to a specific NCD. The drafted plans were showcased by each group and critiqued for improvement and revision as the situation calls for.

While on the third day, the groups proceeded to the development of the prototypes of the IEC materials that were later on presented by each group and subjected for some revisions and enhancement.

Supervising HEPO Holandes announced during the writeshop DOH shall soon launch a Healthy Diet campaign for the prevention and control of the four NCDs to which the finalized IEC Materials shall be used.

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