Healthy Pilipinas website reaches new heights, continuing to provide health information to Filipinos
Established at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Healthy Pilipinas website has continued to expand in terms of reach and number of articles, moving closer to its vision of being a “unified data platform for health promotion” – in other words, the online portal for timely and trusted health knowledge for all Filipinos.
“There is a need to provide timely and accurate health information, especially now, not just because of the pandemic, but because it is too easy to be misinformed on social media,” DOH’s Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho said in October 2021 at the launch of a website that is managed by the DOH’s Health Promotion Bureau and supported by the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
From July to December 2022, the website logged 116,418 unique visitors and 140,184 visits. “These numbers are modest, but they represent real and organic growth towards our goal of reaching millions of Filipinos around the world,” JR Castor, a medical intern at the UP College of Medicine and the website’s digital manager said. During the same period, over a hundred articles were added to the website’s Sakit A-Z section, which is envisioned to be a multi-lingual database for various health conditions.
The website has also served as a vehicle to promote events throughout the Health Department’s busy calendar, as well as the “Seven Healthy Habits” campaign, complementing a burgeoning social media presence that includes the Healthy Pilipinas Facebook page, DOH Twitter account, DOH Viber community.
Moving forward, the Healthy Pilipinas team hopes to add new features including ‘Gamot A-Z’ and ‘Procedures A-Z’ sections, as well as articles that can offer practical guidance to Filipinos as they navigate the healthcare system. They also aim to generate more content by collaborating with medical institutions including medical schools, professional societies, civil society groups – as well as to make the content driven by people’s actual needs. “Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, our most viewed articles are those that talk about mental health,” Castor notes, adding: “This points to a void that we should continue to fill.”
Dr. Gideon Lasco, an editorial consultant to the Healthy Pilipinas website, agrees. “We need to provide content based on epidemiological trends, or the conditions – both enduring and emergent – that affect our people. But just as importantly, we need to monitor what people are looking for, and use the website to respond accordingly.”
PHAP Executive Director Teodoro Padilla commends the DOH and editorial team behind the Healthy Pilipinas website. Alongside USAID, other website partners are PHAP members AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Novartis, Pfizer, and Roche.
“We are very proud of the new record reached by the Healthy Pilipinas website,” Padilla said. “This would not have happened without the leadership of the DOH and the people working hard to produce medically-verified content in this age of infodemic. PHAP and our Members will continue to support this initiative as this is fully aligned with our mandate to help improve the health and lives of the people through their use of accurate and timely health information.”
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