Post-blog: Healthy Environment = Good Health tweet chat

It was a very lively tweet chat this evening/morning with my new #HealthXPh family. Thanks for inviting a dancing health activist to moderate. Dr. Helen V. Madamba (@helenvmadamba) is calling out on a part 2 of this and I definitely said yes. The topic is close to both our hearts.

Anyways, just a quick recap of the tweet chat discussion:

  • T1: How can the health sector be more involved in general on health and safety citing SDH initiatives as examples? The discussion started with Dr. Remo Aguilar’s (@bondoc) hydroponics garden and moved on to dream about having hospitals build their own edible gardens and serving the healthy produce of those gardens as food for the patients. Dr. Gia Sison mentioned about “hospital menu needing clinical influence for better health and nutrition.” And that is an astounding YES to me. I was actually sad about the fact that most hospitals here in the Philippines are adjacent to fast food chains because this does not seem to add up. As a health activist, I am very particular in “walk the talk”. Hospitals should be a bastion of good health. Doughnuts and hospitals don’t mix and definitely not a good symbol of health. Some examples of these initiatives, which I mentioned during the chat were: Healthier Hospitals Initiatives (@HHI) and the Gardens to Hospitals (G2H). Thanks to Dr. Remo for also reading my post on organics and health eating in my blog (healthactivist.ph). Actually, many HCPs are already into gardening and farming these days. And perhaps many should follow suit. Doctors and HCPs should be good examples. One public health expert on the house, former undersecretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Ted Herbosa (@Teddybird) said “globalisation of disease because of the importation of American fast food joints”. And this is very true. As the T1 recap: everyone was unison in wanting healthy food and gardens within hospital premises and that we want hospitals to be bastions of good health. 
  • T2: How can the health sector make use of social media for this campaign? Yinka Vidal (@YinkaVidal) tweeted about “discouraging environmental racism of dumping industrial wastes in poor neighborhood. And the only thing I remembered was about the issue of Canada dumping waste in the Philippines (some participants were Canadians by the way so I felt the need to raise it and besides I was asked to share it). This SDH campaign was an initiative by one of our allied partylists here in the Philippines, AngNars (angoras & angnarsPL). The campaign made use of a petition platform, Change.org (@Change, @ChangePilipinas). Currently, the petition has 25,096 supporters. Only 9,904 is needed to reach the target of 35,000. Perhaps, participants in the tweet chat can help raise the number of petitioners and make the campaign win. Pat (@cmaer) said, “Sadly, Canada like many Western nations is not always a good corporate citizen when it comes to the environment.” Yinka also suggested the need to campaign through #SoMe for healthier food choices and make them affordable for poor people. I will soon be organizing a forum on why organic food comes with too high a price tag (SOON). I also added that the health sector uses a combination of all #SoMe platforms to push SDH initiatives such as energy choice, food and nutrition, road safety and clean water. Dr. Remo replied by saying that these are social reforms that impact health in general and they are important for him. As a recap for T2: everyone’s agreed that #SoMe has a lot of promise when it comes to pushing SDH, e.g. is the Canada and Philippines waste dump issue that used petition as a vehicle to garner support. 
  • T3: What social media platforms can you recommend for SDH initiatives? In the Philippines, Facebook is the most popular social media site for campaigning. Dr. Ted (@Teddybird) also cited the Sin Tax Law push has something to do largely with help of #SoMe. I added though that very little is done about SDH concerns in the Philippines with health promotions only receiving a measly PhP100+ million in the last few years. In addition to FB as a platform for campaigning, this is often combined with other #SoMe platforms such Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Change.org and other petition platforms and Thunderclap. Some campaigns I have observed, which garnered attention were the climate change and health nexus through Global Climate and Health Alliance (@GCHA), Health and Environment Alliance (@Heal), Health Care Without Harm-Asia (@NoHarmAsia) and the Healthy Energy Initiative (@healthyenergyi). For the T3 recap: I believe most of us look into #SoMe and any forum that discusses SDH as affecting health.

Dr. Madamba also suggested the  need to go back to organic farming, community development and equitable distribution of wealth to ensure health.

Suggestions for a part 2 of this topic is WELCOME! It is about time for HCPs and the health sector to take action in addressing SDH and definitely we will include oral health in the discussion.

Thanks everyone.

And to inspire us to start/end the day, keep this and share:

Be inspired! Encourage your friendly neighbourhood hospital to start one and be a bastion of good health!

Be inspired! Encourage your friendly neighbourhood hospital to start one and be a bastion of good health!

 

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