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Youth Smoking: Smoking in Schools and Families

Mercy Antoinette Gappi M.D., Joselito Chavez M.D., Benjamin Lazo M.D., Raul Martin Coching M.D., Benilda Galvez M.D., Nestor Venida M.D., Sergio Andres M.D.

This survey was undertaken by the committee on Tobacco or Health of the American College of Chest Physicians, Philippine Chapter to try to analyze when and how smoking patterns become established in young Filipino people.

The Annual ACCP Educational-Medical Mission

Concurrent with the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), the ACCP Philippine Chapter for the past five years has been holding an Educational-Medical Mission (EMM) that targets a needy community in the locale where the convention is held. These two back-to-back activities illustrate what the ACCP stands for: the prevention & treatment of diseases of the chest through leadership, education, research & communication. Through the EMM, members of the ACCP who come from different parts of the country for the annual meeting are engaged to provide service to indigents. Thus far, these lung specialists have been all too willing to volunteer and lend a hand.

This mission is not the same as the common one-time healing activity. Partnership with the local MD group assures follow-up and continuing care. It certainly is not a dole out publicity stunt. Free consultation and medications are provided for an important hidden reason: these serve as incentives for patients preselected for pulmonary complaints to come. The real thrust is to empower patients over their diseases through acquisition of basic and practical knowledge and development of skills needed for treatment. These patients will then be able to help prevent/control risk factors of exacerbations, recognize early symptoms of worsening and implement appropriate primary interventions when needed. Long after the free medicines run out, the knowledge learned and the skills acquired will continue to benefit the patients.

The mission specifically aims to:

  1. Provide accurate diagnosis to the patients pulmonary condition
  2. Perform spirometry and other pulmonary function test when indicated.
  3. Give full courses of quality medicines and, if available, vaccines
  4. Give patients accurate and understandable information about the nature of their lung diseases through video presentations and interactive lectures. These are moderated by ACCP members and volunteers.
  5. Push advocacies on tobacco control, smoking cessation, TB PPM DOTS, basic infection control, guided asthma self-management and others
  6. Teach patient pursed-lip breathing and other basic pulmonary rehabilitation maneuvers
  7. Develop among patients the skill in the use of the inhalers, nebulizers, peakflow meters and other devices whenever appropriate
  8. Catch TB symptomatics and channel them to the local health center for microscopy and entry to the NTP DOTS TB program.

Indeed, by holding the ASM and the EMM outside Metro Manila, ACCP-Philippine Chapter lives up to its mission of being in the forefront of chest medicine. It also shows that ACCP is not the elitist organization that others may have labeled it wrongly.

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