The Planetary and Global Health Program (PGHP) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine–William H. Quasha Memorial (SLMCCM-WHQM) joins an international collaboration that seeks to build regional capacity in Southeast Asia on the use of systems thinking in tackling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
Led by the SingHealth Duke–NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI) based in Singapore, the collaboration also involves the Sunway Centre for Planetary Health in Malaysia and the ASEAN Institute for Health Development based in Mahidol University in Thailand.
The collaboration entails the conduct of several online workshops on applying systems thinking methodologies to analyzing and solving problems related to NCDs, which are the major killers in many countries today. Workshop participants include policymakers, analysts, and advocates coming from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand who are focused on the NCD epidemic. By the end of the workshop series, country delegations are expected to use their outputs for policy development, research activities, and advocacy efforts.
The PGHP team, led by its director Dr. Renzo Guinto, will be coordinating the participants from the Philippines, which include representatives from the Department of Health, academia, and civil society organizations such as Health Justice and Healthy Philippines Alliance.
“We should never forget that, even if we are still responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is an invisible pandemic of NCDs that continue to inflict disease, disability, and death on our fellow Filipinos today,” according to Dr. Guinto. “ A systems approach is needed to stop this slow-burn health crisis and protect the lives of millions of Filipinos.”
First assembly of the Philippine delegation composed of representatives from the Department of Health, civil society organizations, and academia