DOH, PHAP, and USAID launch the Healthy Pilipinas website
The Department of Health (DOH), together with its partners the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launches the Healthy Pilipinas website which can be accessed via healthypilipinas.ph, through a virtual event on its Healthy Pilipinas Facebook page.
The vision of the website is to become a “unified data platform for health promotion” for the Filipino digital public, backed by the guiding principles of accuracy, inclusivity, collaboration, responsiveness, and user-friendliness. Internet use continues to be one of the biggest pastimes in the country, which underscores the need to reach Filipinos online in a world becoming more and more digital.
The Healthy Pilipinas website will be aligned with existing and future DOH efforts. One section featured in the website is the Seven Healthy Habits campaign that teaches the public different health-promoting actions and behaviors. It is also linked to the COVID-19 and ResBakuna campaign pages of the main DOH website for unified messaging and information regarding the pandemic and vaccination efforts.
The website will also leverage social media to allow sharing of long-form articles on existing platforms like the Healthy Pilipinas Facebook page, DOH Twitter account, and DOH Viber community among others.
“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. The Healthy Pilipinas website will be a credible source that you can turn to. I envision this endeavor to reach even more Filipinos as it expands and becomes part of our everyday life,” explained Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, concurrent Director IV of the Health Promotion Bureau and Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.
More than just addressing health literacy, Dr. Ho stressed that the website will seek to also enable supportive environments for health promotion. This would include tips, articles, and downloadable materials for local implementers.
“Filipinos need health information that is accurate, accessible, and culturally contextualized. Healthy Pilipinas is a platform that can cater to this need. This launch is just the beginning, and I hope we can collaborate with institutions and individuals within and beyond the public health community to realize the website’s full potential,” added Dr. Gideon Lasco, a medical anthropologist and columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a consultant of the Healthy Pilipinas website editorial team.
PHAP and USAID were eager to step up and support the project when it was brought up to them. “PHAP is honored to collaborate with the Department of Health in its efforts to provide the Filipino people with verified information and slow the spread of misinformation. We know that health misinformation is a serious threat to public health as it can cause confusion, harm people’s health and undermine public health efforts. We commend the DOH Health Promotion Bureau for this strategic digital communication initiative as well as PHAP Members Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis and Pfizer for being one with us in this endeavor. We aspire that through the Healthy Pilipinas website, we can empower more Filipinos to make health decisions based on accurate information wherever they may be,” said PHAP Executive Director Mr. Teodoro Padilla.
“In this time of rampant disinformation, it is important that the average Filipino can get accurate and trusted health information especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Michelle Lang-Alli, USAID’s Director of the Office of Health. “As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries and the 60th anniversary of USAID here in the Philippines, we reiterate our commitment to help improve the health of Filipinos, especially the vulnerable and marginalized.”
The Healthy Pilipinas Website is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the DOH to reach more Filipinos worldwide and promote health and safety for all.