Monday, August 09, 2010

Catholics for RH hold strategic planning workshop

The Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) held a strategic planning workshop last June 24-25, 2010 at the Fersal Place Hotel in Quezon City to formulate the group's mandate for the next two years. C4RH is a fellowship of concerned Filipino Catholics, as individuals or as organizations, who affirm that the guiding principles of reproductive health do not contradict the practice of the Catholic faith, and who support the right to reproductive health.

20 representatives from partner organizations in 7 cities, including Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Legaspi, and Tagbilaran, reviewed and redefined the vision, mission and mandate of C4RH. The newly-stated vision of C4RH is "a fellowship of Filipino Catholics living in harmony with their faith and right to RH", with a mission "[t]o organize and support fellow Filipino Catholics in understanding, appreciating and promoting RH as a right." The agreed upon mandate or major final outputs are: (1) sustained capacity building on RH and Religion; (2) a strong, established and maintained network of fellows; and (3) active and responsive advocacy on RH and religion. HAIN was designated the Secretariat of C4RH.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HAIN staff to attend health activist course in Sri Lanka

Emily Magharing, one of HAIN's research associates, is attending a short training course of the International People’s Health University (IPHU) of the People’s Health Movement (PHM) from August 8 to 16, 2010 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Entitled "The Struggle for Health," the course is organized by People’s Health Movement (PHM), Sarvodaya (on behalf of PHM-Sri Lanka) and Health Action International – Asia Pacific (HAI-AP).

The IPHU short courses aim to strengthen the global network of people's health activists and enable younger health activists to share experiences, learn from and with each other, and create connections. The topics to be tackled include the struggle for health, working with communities and with grass roots people’s organizations, the social determinants of health, comprehensive primary health care, and the political economy of health. The participants will include younger health activists and practitioners involved with the issues of health, gender and human rights and particularly including those involved in the People’s Health Movement (PHM).

The IPHU organizes short courses throughout the year in different PHM member countries. For more information on the IPHU and the People's Health Movement, visit their websites at and

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Network of Information for a Collective Action

It was May 1, 1985 when the first issue of Health Alert newsletter was published. This is where it all started. HAIN then became the repository of health information not just among people’s organizations but also for people in the academe, government, and media. At that time, everything was printed and publications played major role in advocacy; there was still no Internet and access to information was limited.

HAIN’s publications include newsletters, books, and monographs. Some of our publications present results of our research findings and provide documentations of the trainings we have conducted. The publications cover topics relevant to various health aspects from a wide range of social science disciplines and cater to different sectors. These publications reach both local and international communities.

The organization has gained credibility by adhering to its mission of providing accurate and unbiased scientific information. HAIN’s publications are generally reader-friendly; by tapping non-health professionals to write articles, issues are explained in layman’s language. Another advantage of tapping non-health professionals is that they provide a different perspective. Dr. Michael Tan noted that, “may nakikita na issue na nakapaloob sa health na hindi nakikita ng doctors at ibang health professionals.”

HAIN: 25 years and beyond

The people's health was one of the collateral damages of Ferdinand Marcos's 20-year dictatorial regime. During that period, people were dying of communicable but easily treatable diseases. The health care system was in disarray, with people dying without ever seeing a doctor.

To address the gap, community health based programs (CBHPs) were established throughout the country to provide badly needed medical services. CBHPs were also quick to realize that the state of the people's health was inextricably tied to the prevailing socio-economic and political conditions. Thus, CBHPs also focused on community organizing to empower the people so that they themselves could demand for a just and humane society.

While CBHPs were making head ways in providing medical services to the people and in organizing communities, two areas were overlooked: research and documentation. In an interview, Dr. Michael Tan, founder of HAIN, said that there were a lot of information needs at that time aside from training manuals. Program members brought this concern, which ultimately led to the formation of the Health Action Information Network (HAIN).

Monday, May 24, 2010

New HAIN publications (May 2010)

Bagong Pag-asa, Bagong Buhay (comics on RH for the community). To help raise the awareness on RH at the community level, HAIN produced a comics in Filipino which covered topics on violence against women, sexually transmitted infections, and family planning methods. To complement the discussions given by the barangay health workers, it is hoped that this resource material could help the people make informed decisions about family planning and other RH concerns.

Keeping the Faith Alive : A Slimbook on Responding to the Challenges Posed by the Catholic Church Hierarchy on Reproductive Health. (by Giney Villar and Corazon dela Paz) aims to contribute to the work of Catholic RH advocates as they bridge the gaps between their personal faith and the work they do—through a series of exercises on real-life situations that require advocates to effectively communicate with facts, composure and with their faith in place.

Bulong ng Panahon (Whisper of the Times), produced by Celso Espaldon of Tubig Kanlungan, is a 15-minuter educational/advocacy film discusses the link between climate change and reproductive health. It focused on the experiences of a selected community in Botolan, Zambales, and how a big calamity and the women’s reproductive health are affected and experienced. It is targeted to raise the level of awareness of women and girls in communities, policy and decision-makers, health workers and program managers.

Tungkol kay Olivia (About Olivia) is , produced by Maricar Vallido (The Forum), is a short film documentary which aims to draw attention to the very alarming maternal mortality rate in the country. The film focuses on the lives of the 11 children whose mother died while giving birth to the 11th child. The video aims to raise awareness on the status of poor urban dwellers that will result in better health and services particularly RH services for women, and establish support from the local government and other key decision and policymakers.

Health Alert Special Anniversary issue highlights HAIN's 25 years of health advocacy.

These materials were made possible through the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. To request copies, please email

Sunday, May 23, 2010

HAIN Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Our sincerest thanks to all our friends who became part of our 25 years and for continuously supporting all our endeavours.

Happy 25th Anniversary!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Community Health Workers Affirm Role in Philippine Health Care


May 4, 2010
For Reference: Sr.Edita Eslopor 0929-2692637 / 881-0910

On May 5, 2010, community health workers representing health programs from Metro Manila and Luzon will come together in an assembly to assess their role in the health care system and to affirm their commitment towards serving their communities. Themed "Community Health Workers: Pagtibayin ang Pagkakaisa Tungo sa Ibayong Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan" (Community Health Workers: Affirm Unity Towards Service to the People.) The assembly will be held at the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc., Malate, Manila.

Community health workers are credible members of the community who were selected by the people themselves to assist them in their health needs. They have been internationally recognized at the 1978 Alma-Ata Conference in Russia as a key in promoting a standard of health and well-being for all people.

Since 1972, the Philippines started developing community health workers to be health educators, health service providers and leaders. Today, the presence of more than 15,000 volunteer community health workers in over 50 community-based health programs nationwide is more than needed, especially in underserved urban and far-flung rural communities, said Sister Edita Eslopor, a Benedictine nun, community health organizer and the Council for Health and Development's board chairperson.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Puso, Puson, Pananampalataya at Pulitika

With the upcoming 2010 national and local elections, candidates are being asked of their position on the issue of reproductive health. Apparently, there is a veiled threat that the Church will use the pulpit to campaign against candidates who will support reproductive health programs and services. Catholics who comprised the majority of the voting public must then be given a chance to hear other progressive voices in the Church. In an article, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. has written a thoughtful and balanced opinion on the danger of the Church’s direct interference in the elections. Other RH advocates who are also Catholics also have a stake in the issue and must make to make their voices heard so as to have an influence on the electorate in this very important issue.

The Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) conducted series of fora from February to April 2010 entitled “Puso, Puson, Pananampalataya at Pulitika” or P4RH.

The objective for conducting this series is to help Catholics make an informed decision on choosing national and local leaders in the coming May 2010 elections. The forums presented a layered and multi-faceted perspective on the issue of how Catholics in good conscience can vote for candidates who are supportive of reproductive health.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New material: Bagong Bukas, Bagong Pag-asa

To help raise the awareness on RH at the community level, HAIN produced a 16-page comics called “Bagong Bukas, Bagong Pag-asa”. This resource material runs stories of a teenage boy and a married couple facing some of the RH concerns. Specifically, the stories tackle issues on HIV/AIDS, violence against women and family planning.

To complement the community discussions given by our barangay health workers, it is hoped that this material can help the people make informed decisions about family planning and other RH concerns.

To request for copies, please write to or to

Monday, April 05, 2010

HAIN's 25th Year Anniversary Benefit Dinner

You're all invited to HAIN's 25th year anniversary benefit dinner which will be held at the Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman on May 21, 2010. For details, please contact or See you!

See HAIN's 25 years teaser video...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Calling all Health Action Information Network former staff, trainors, training participants, volunteers, supporters and friends!

It is with great pride and joy that HAIN will be celebrating its 25th Year Anniversary this 2010. It has been a very fruitful and exciting 25 Years of Empowering Communities through Health Information which would not have been made possible, without the indispensable and key contributions of focal personalities like you.

HAIN proudly invites you to a Night of Friendship and Giving as it celebrates its 25 years of Serving Communities through Health Information. This benefit dinner will be held at the UP Bahay ng Alumni, Diliman, Quezon City on May 21, 2010 at 6:00pm onwards.

Interested parties are requested to please contact Nilda de Vera or Dr. Delen Dela Paz at (63-2) 952.6409 or 952.6312 or send an email to and to

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Faces of Women

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the continuing ordeal of the 43 illegally arrested and detained health workers highlights the plight of Filipino women at the hands of a fascist government. It reveals the faces of women in conflict and in struggle for the genuine liberation of this nation.

On one hand, there are the 26 women detainees, health workers whose only crime is to go beyond just caring enough to cure. They are the symbols of true empowerment: unschooled but not uneducated, marginalized but at the frontlines of healthcare, and poor but with the wealth of heart and sacrifice.

These women, and the men who are with them in their incarcerated lives, have the power rarely afforded today - power drawn from the respect and recognition given by their people. That they are subjected to abuse and humiliation in order to break them is testament not only to the integrity of their empowerment but also to the pathetic feeble-mindedness of their captors.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Global health Risks - Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks

The leading global risks for mortality in the world are high blood pressure (responsible for 13% of deaths globally), tobacco use (9%), high blood glucose (6%), physical inactivity (6%), and overweight and obesity (5%). These risks are responsible for raising the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancers. They affect countries across all income groups: high, middle and low.

The leading global risks for burden of disease as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are underweight (6% of global DALYs) and unsafe sex (5%), followed by alcohol use (5%) and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (4%). Three of these risks particularly affect populations in low-income countries, especially in the regions of South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The fourth risk – alcohol use – shows a unique geographic and sex pat­tern, with its burden highest for men in Africa, in middle-income countries in the Americas and in some high-income countries.

This report uses a comprehensive framework for studying health risks developed for The world health report 2002, which presented estimates for the year 2000. The report provides an update for the year 2004 for 24 global risk factors. It uses updated information from WHO programmes and scien­tific studies for both exposure data and the causal associations of risk exposure to disease and injury outcomes. The burden of disease attributable to risk factors is measured in terms of lost years of healthy life using the metric of the disability-adjusted life year. The DALY combines years of life lost due to premature death with years of healthy life lost due to illness and disability.

Although there are many possible definitions of “health risk”, it is defined in this report as “a factor that raises the probability of adverse health outcomes”. The number of such factors is countless and the report does not attempt to be comprehensive. For example, some important risks associated with exposure to infectious disease agents or with antimicrobial resistance are not included. The report focuses on selected risk factors which have global spread, for which data are
available to estimate population exposures or distributions, and for which the means to reduce them are known.

Five leading risk factors identified in this report (childhood underweight, unsafe sex, alcohol use, unsafe water and sanitation, and high blood pressure) are responsible for one quarter of all deaths in the world, and one fifth of all DALYs. Reducing exposure to these risk factors would increase global life expectancy by nearly 5 years.

Eight risk factors (*/alcohol use, tobacco use, high blood pressure, high body mass index, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, low fruit and vegetable intake, and physical inactivity)/* account for 61% of cardiovascular deaths. Combined, these same risk factors account for over three quarters of ischaemic heart disease: the leading cause of death worldwide. Although these major risk factors are usually
asso­ciated with high-income countries, over 84% of the total global burden of disease they cause occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Reducing expo­sure to these eight risk factors would increase global life expectancy by almost 5 years.

*Available online PDF [70p.] at:

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