Monday, June 24, 2013

Kidnap for kidneys: a 
‘Medical impossibility’
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) –Kidnapping for kidneys is a medical impossibility.

Kidney transplant surgeon and urologist consultant of the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), during a press conference Wednesday at the Jjs Seafoods Village impressed the “improbability of a kidney harvested for a transplant operation, if it ever happens.” 

Urologist consultant of the NKTI, Dr. Jose Benito Abraham said kidneys harvested in such a manner “never ends up in a transplant process.” 

The statement came as a reaction from media comments amid received reports of disappearing kids believed to be kidnapped for the lucrative “kidney for sale business.”

The allegations of “kidneys for sale” came after the 2007 controversy where the Philippines NKTI recorded the highest number of foreigners availing of Filipino kidneys and were transplant-operated at the government facility. 

With the capacity to buy human kidneys, foreigners and even well-off Filipinos then “paid” kidney donors who submit themselves to a battery of medical tests at the NKTI for the transplant to be consumated.

The tests are needed to match the kidneys of the donor and recipient keep the recipients from possible kidney rejection which is fatal for someone who has paid a hefty amount to get a new kidney. 

The young surgeon impressed to members of the media in Bohol that a kidney transplant is a lot more complicated than picking up an organ and affixing it back to a human body.

He said kidney transplants, which happen in only a few accredited hospitals in the country, Asia takes months of preparation which includes blood work-up to determine if the recipient patient is receptive to the new organ. 

A failed organ transplant is a bad mark against the hospital, according to Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, transplant psychiatrist at the NKTI.

Following the “kidney organ for sale controversy”, there is no other medical specialty more scrutinized and monitored in the country than kidney transplantation, Dr Lesaca said.  

Medical specialists, he said, also need to determine if the donor has had any communicable disease, which can easily pass the trait to an unsuspecting receiver, whose immune system is practically jeopardized with the end stage renal failure.

Also, we need to get the donor’s medical history and make sure the new kidney matches: blood types, lifestyle, and all that, doctor surgeons explained. 

Rumors spread over the social networks, text messages and word of mouth detailing kidnapping of kids. 

Tales of heavily tinted vans, of people forcibly taking children walking in isolated places, all about allegations of kidnappings which end up with victims being robbed of their kidneys abounded then. 

Human kidney is a delicate organ and this can’t be harvested in any way outside the laboratory medical environment, Dr. Abraham stressed. 

Kidney lifespan is less than six hours when it is outside the proper temperature and conditions, Abraham said. 

Beyond the six hours, a kidney becomes useless, agreed doctors performing kidney operations from Asia’s most respected organ transplant facility, the NKTI. 

Doctors also bared that a National Renal Disease Registry keeps track of kidney patients in dialysis, organ transplants, nephrologists and accredited hospitals who are strictly scrutinized for mal-practices. 

The NKTI boasts of a success rate comparable to international standards, that is 95% of its transplant patients survive after the very delicate 1 to six months after the operation and 85% to 90% of its patient kidney organ beneficiaries survive after six years.

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Renal-disease control 
Info filters to puroks 
Rey Anthony Chiu

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) – There is a silent killer that has been lurking, slowly picking in on Boholanos and killing them. 

And for Governor Edgar Chatto who was visibly alarmed at the number of Boholanos afflicted with the disease, streaming the information about kidney disease control down to the puroks is more effective than advocating for more dialysis centers. 

The governor met the renal disease control program (REDCOP) team from the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) when the team visited Bohol for an advocacy campaign, and learned that so many Boholanos are down with the disease. 

Even Dr. Fruserma Uy, key officer at the PHO also surmised that the problem would be traced to the highly alkaline water in Bohol, one that facilitates stone formation in the kidneys.

Chatto then instructed the Provincial health Officer, Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot to coordinate with the Department of Health to start training Barangay health Workers who can bring down the understanding of the disease to the household levels. 

Kidney diseases, which are caused by abnormal renal functions can sometimes manifest all too late that treatment at the time could almost often be too late, if not too expensive, warns Dr. Susan Jorge, an internist and consultant of the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI). 

Early detection so that the disease could be managed properly, stresses Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca transplant psychiatrist who also believe that regular urinalysis helps doctors detect the presence of abnormal kidney functions. 

Renal diseases rank 7th among the top diseases killing Filipinos, points out Dr. Jorge, who along with kidney transplant psychiatrist Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, NKTI urologist consultant Dr. Jose Benito Abraham, pedia nephrology fellow Dr. Elmer Kent Lopez and adult nephrology fellow Dr. Ariel Indo came to Bohol to recruit for local government and civil society support to the Department of Health’s and NKTI’s Renal Disease Control Program, in time for the National Kidney Month in June. 

To date, the renal disease registry in Bohol lists some 110 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and would need a lifetime of machine-aided blood cleansing so as to survive, reports Dr. Maria Pureza Mayida Concepcion Ybanez, kidney disease specialist at Bohol’s top public hospital in Tagbilaran City. 

Based on the Philippine Renal Disease Registry of the Department of Health and the NKTI, the leading cause of ESRD in the country is diabetic nephropathy, a complication of diabetes mellitus followed by hypertensive nephrosclerosis and then chronic glumerulonephritis, cites Dr Ybanez in her presentation to rural health doctors, nurses and barangay health workers. 

The figure however could be lower, as many of advanced renal disease cases in Bohol, never get to the hospitals owing to the expensive dialysis sessions and kidney transplantation, points out authorities from the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI), Asia’s leading kidney treatment facility in the Philippines. 

During the Lay Forum called to disseminate information on how to prevent renal disease, held in Bohol, June 20 at the Bohol Tropics, Dr. Ybanez explained that a total loss of the kidneys, which is medically called ESRD encompasses the end of the line in the broad spectrum of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) caused by abnormal kidney function and its gradual decline in the body’s glomerular filtration rate (GFR). 

The kidneys filter the blood to strain off minerals which the body needs to retain and discard anything which the body has no use as of the moment of filtration, explains Dr. Susan Jorge, an internal medicine and nephrology consultant at the NKTI. 

The organ also allows the body to regulate its blood pressure, and releases commands for the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and balance the fluid levels of the body, the doctor professor at San Beda College told health workers and patients gathered at the Bohol Tropics. 

An abnormality in the kidney can easily upset the body, enough to mess up with the blood filtration process, which can cause the body poisoning, hypertension and diabetes, which can progress to ESRD, Dr. Ybanez said. 

The dispiriting term end-stage renal disease (ESRD) represents a stage of CKD where there is accumulation of toxins, fluid and electrolytes normally excreted by the kidneys, she capped. 

For his part, Gov. Edgar Chatto told NKTI fellows Bohol’s interest in bringing down the information to prevent the disease down to the purok levels, even as he pointed out that prevention is so much better than cure.

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“New police reporting parameter” 
Shows significant crime increase 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) – Bohol police’s worst fears are now confirmed: the new parameter for reckoning crimes has the capacity to bring crime volumes up to possibly alarming levels. 

At the Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting, Bohol Police Chief Senior Superintendent Constantino Barot pointed out the increase in crime volume in Bohol in the past months, a rise he attributed to a new parameter for reckoning crimes which the Philippine National Police use. 

At the meeting too, which Governor Edgar Chatto convened at the Jjs Seafoods Restaurant June 21, Barot told the council that crimes then, which were referred to other agencies were considered solved and need not be reflected in the crime volume reports. 

The new chief of the PNP however instructed the organization to report all cases, including those that never got to be in the reports then. 

With the instruction, Barot said Bohol police noticed a sudden 287% spike in crimes which they report to higher authorities. 

This does not mean a lot more new crimes are happening, but it means is that more “crimes” then which were not considered good enough for the monthly police crime volume reports to the police headquarters are now reported, explains a Camp Dagohoy statistician. 

During the PPOC meeting attended by 34 of the 49-member council, Barot reported that crimes in Bohol in May 2012 was only 209, which was comprised of 34 non index crimes and 155. 

For the same period in 2013, when the PNP adopted a new system which mandates that all police blotter entries be reflected in the reports, Bohol registered a total of 601 crimes. 

A breakdown of the crimes in May 2013 includes 259 non-index and 342 index crimes. 

On his presentation too, PSsupt Barot pointed out the huge increase of physical injury cases hitting police blotters at a soaring 690%. In May 2012, police recorded 20 physical injury cases. This zoomed to 138 cases in the same period of 2013. 

Still rating high, but not as much like then are theft, which showed 35 more cases over the 73 recorded in 2012 and robbery which reached 9 more cases over the 40 recorded in 2012. 

Physical injuries does not just mean inflicting injuring to a person by another now, a huge part of these are injuries one person gets when he meets road crashes or traffic accidents, he shared. 

Then, when traffic accidents happen due to stray dogs and dangerous driving never makes it to police blotters, these incidents are mandatory entries in blotters now, a member of the local police force manning police desks said. 

PPOC Chairman Edgar Chatto however was quick to add that comparing the crime volume in 2012 to 2013 is like comparing apples to oranges. 

While the increase could be very significant, Chatto pointed out that the way data were gathered between the two years, are not the same. 

He also picked out the fact that an increased record in non-index crimes in 2013 would signify more police efforts at anti-crime operations, compared to a less pro-active stance in the 2012 records.

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Coast Guard opens slots for 
For enlisted men, officers 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) – If you dream of joining the proud tradition of men in the service of the country, then here is a chance for you to realize that dream. 

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) opens its annual recruitment program, the Coast Guard District in Central Visayas is now accepting applications for enlistment of non-officers or officer commissionship, says Commander Agapito Bibat, PCG Tagbilaran Station Commander. 

At the recent Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting June 21 at the Jjs Seafoods Village in Tagbilaran, Commander Bibat announced to the council the recruitment as Governor Edgar Chatto was elated at the prospect of more jobs for Boholanos. 

Qualification requirements for hiring include being a natural born Filipino of good moral character, single, at least 5’4 in height for men and 5’2 for women. 

For those gunning for non-officer enlistment, age requirement is 18-26 years, baccalaureate degree holder or with at least 72 college units or with a relevant TESDA training in shipboard assignment. 

For those interested in a commissioned officer’s position, applicants should be a PRC license holder or owns a Civil Service eligibility upon application, Cmdr. Bibat said. 

Applicants however need to pre-secure their NSO authenticated Birth Certificate, Transcript of Records, diploma, if applicable; two pieces of 2x2 ID pictures and applicable licenses for commissionship applicants, he added. 

Application forms are available at the Tagbilaran City Coast Guard Station. 

Application forms must be submitted personally by the applicant to the Nautical Department of the University of the Visayas (UV) along Sanciangko St., Cebu City for initial screening and actual examination on June 29, 2013. 

On the day of the examinations, June 29, 2013, prospective applicants are instructed to come to UV in casual attire, bringing with them a ballpen and a pencil as well as the initial requirements like the NSO issued Birth Certificate, Transcript of Records, Diploma, 2 pieces of 2x2 ID pictures and PRC license for those who aspire to the commissioned officers position. 

Those who pass the initial screening are to take the PCG Aptitude Test, and those who pass, can be a step closer to realizing their dreams, he said. 

For more inquiries, applicants can contact the PCG Tagbilaran Station at 412-0992 or 0949-838-1531. 

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Cops hand in free slippers 
to Kinabag-an Calape kids 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) – She comes to school on slippers her parents gave her as a prize for getting to the class top ten. 

A full summer later, Eva’s (not her real name) heels leave an unmistakable indentation of wear and the entire slipper has thinned, barely able to protect her feet from the unforgiving sharp stones. 

School is half a kilometer away, following a dirt trail to their home tucked in a low cliff overlooking the seas of Tubigon. 

“I could go to school on these,” Eva, 9 years old girl net in her pleated faded blue school uniform and bleached white blouse confessed, as she looked at her worn out pair. 

“My Tatay told us used to go to school barefoot.” “This, is a lot better,” she continued, showing off her red slippers. 

This girl and some 254 pupils of Kinabag-an Elementary School in Panggangan Island off Calape would not anymore be going to school on thin slippers or barefoot. 

Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) here has made sure that coming to school daily on this island, accessible from the mainland by some 6 kilometers of causeway, is a lot more fun. 

Under the Police Community Relations Project, Bohol police contribute at least a new pair of slippers every payday, all for the noble intention of motivating more kids to school, said PO2 Ronnie Conarco, of the PCR, a few minutes before the formal turnover of a pair of slippers to pupils. 

Started when Bohol was under then PSSupt Rodolfo Llorca, the PCR Libreng Tsinelas was envisioned as a Christmas gift to children in poor communities, said Camp Dagohoy Information Officer Jennifer Atanacio. 

Now carried on by PSSupt Constantino Barot, the program has then shifted to a highlight of the local police office as a Balik-Eskwela Program, she continued. 

Last week, Col. Barot led the BPPO in its community outreach program to Barangay Panggangan, where the regular Talakayan sa Isyung Pulis engaged the police and the media in a news conference and peace and order update. 

Libreng Tsinelas turn over ceremonies happened after that and Kinabag-an principal Senen Salinas profusely thanked the police officers for the special gesture to the kids in his school. 

For about over an hour, the kids eagerly waited for their turn to try on from a display of slippers formed Bohol PNP at the school basketball court, while kinder pupils to higher grade levels had their turn. 

In grateful appreciation for the gesture, the pupils rendered a mass dance presentation “Gangnam Style,” all with brand new slippers.

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Bohol celebrates Arbor Day 
Planting trees along roads 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 24, 2013 (PIA) –In solidarity with the world and the global movement to re-green the earth, Bohol local officials as well as national government employees unite and roll their sleeves on Tuesday, June 25. 

The employees would plant trees and show their little contribution to help mother earth and possibly arrest the effects of global warming and climate change. 

June 25 is Philippine Arbor Day, and in Bohol, national government agencies are coordinating for the tree-planting activity which will happen along the roadsides where tree-planting assignments have been pre-determined by the organizers, according to Ma. Louisella Lucino, interior and local government provincial director. 

On that same day too, local government officials and employees also do the same in the nationwide simultaneous tree-planting activities, which Republic Act 10176 and DILG memorandum Circular 2012-70 prompts. 

RA 10176 is an act reviving the observance of the arbor day by authorizing local government units the responsibilities for celebrating the day for tree-planting as an annual event. 

On the other hand, DILG MC 2012-70 “remind of Arbor Day that should be set aside for the planting of trees.” 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Interior and Local Government are holding a tree-planting activity with other national government agencies in the concerted and conscious effort toward re-greening the environment, Lucino stated in a letter to national government agencies dated June 20, 2013. 

Lucino, in her communication which was co-signed by OIC-PENRO Nestor Canda of DENR Bohol also invited people to join the organizers at the Sikatuna Tree Park at 7:00 AM on June 25. 

Targeted for the re-greening activity are the roadsides of Sikatuna-Corella National Road and Corella-Balilihan Provincial Road, Lucino and Canda said. 

The DENR assured that they are giving out the seedlings for the activity and have staked tree-planting assignments to national government agencies along the identified stretches of roads.

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PIA gives parliamentary procedure 
Training for student gov’t leaders 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

CORTES, Bohol, June 24, 2013, (PIA) -- Around 20 student government leaders from Infant King Academy (IKA) here and Saint Vincent Institute of nearby Maribojoc participates in a training seminar workshop designed to immerse them into the nuances of leadership, last Saturday, June 15. 

A training module designed and offered by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol in response to a dire need to guide future leaders into their leadership tasks, the Training Workshop in Basic Parliamentary Procedures is part of the PIA’s Leadership Enhancement Training Seminar (LETS) Workshop, according to the seminar workshop facilitators. 

Integral part of the training seminar workshop is the general rules of parliamentary procedures, roles and responsibilities of presiding officers in meetings, conducting meetings and basics of legislation in resolutions and ordinances. 

Training facilitators include PIA Bohol and Capitol’s Ric Obedencio. 

IKA Cortes student government adviser Zoe Chiu said the training seminar comes at the right time when student government starts engaging class and school organizations into planning programs and activities for the school year. 

“Making sure the students properly conduct meetings and prevent possible questions of technicality especially in deciding for sensitive organizational dues and contributions, is quite a welcome help from the PIA,” she added. 

On the other hand, student government leaders admit that in the coming Sangguniang Kabataan elections, having the right skills would be a plus factor for student leaders who aspire for their first elective political position. 

Training facilitator and resource Ric Obedencio, who used to be a legislative aide at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan also admits that there are quite a number of resolutions and ordinances reaching the provincial legislative junta for review that hint lack of training in procedures. 

This is our simple gesture of helping the young leaders gain enough skill to handle meetings, craft resolutions and ordinances and assert their issues and concerns to more mature councils as co-equals, Obedencio said. 

The training on Basic Parliamentary Procedures is just one of the many leadership enhancement and self-development workshops which PIA offers. 

Among the training modules in the PIA LETS workshop is School Organ Operation and Production (SCOOP) which includes a full skills training on newspaper production, news and feature writing, editorial writing, sports writing, editorial cartooning, basic lay-out, copy-reading and writing, radio broadcasting and basic journalistic ethics for student writers. 

The trainings can be requested from the PIA in Bohol. For queries, call 501-8554, 412-2292 or 0920-954-5482.

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