Erap opens lung center providing free treatment to Manila residents

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Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has opened a new healthcare service at the city-run Ospital ng Tondo devoted to treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

With lung illnesses still one of the top killer diseases in the country, Estrada said the new pulmonary program is timely as COPD prevalence in the country remains significantly higher compared to the rest of the world, with one in five Filipinos afflicted with the life-threatening disease.

“COPD is fatal, especially if left undetected and untreated,” the Manila mayor said, “so I opted to put up a specialized service at the Ospital ng Tondo to provide free and quality treatment to poor Manileños.”

COPD is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.

Estrada tasked Dr. Isaias Cando, Jr., director of Ospital ng Tondo, to see to it that underprivileged Manileños receive the best treatment and medication concerning COPD.

Citing latest figures from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), Cando said 14 percent of Metro Manila’s population suffer from this debilitating illness, which is on the “high side” considering that the COPD prevalence rate in other countries is only about 10 percent.