Clinic consultation

San Miguel Corp. opens a health clinic for needy women in Tondo

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) has opened a health clinic in Tondo, Manila, to provide specialized health care to women from nearby impoverished communities, with the aim of reducing their risk of breast and cervical cancer – two of most common illnesses among Filipino women.

SMC President and CEO, Ramon S. Ang, said this latest initiative will help stop the rise in cases of reproductive health issues among women in poor urban communities, as part of the attention and the company’s increased involvement in women’s issues, as part of its broader social development program.

The Women’s Health Clinic will provide free medical services, including obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) ultrasounds, general ultrasounds, and medical consultations for pregnancy and female reproductive health to more than 400 female members of its Better Community. World Tondo.

The clinic, located in SMC’s “Better World Tondo” community center, which also serves as a feeding and learning center and food bank, will also hold regular health education sessions that will teach women in poor urban communities cancer prevention, pregnancy care and nutrition, among others.

“For many women in poor communities, family needs come before their own health. Instead of paying for health care, they might as well buy food, pay rent or buy school supplies,” Ang said.

“This is the unfortunate situation women find themselves in every day. This is why they can often delay the diagnosis of a serious health problem. With this clinic, we hope to be able to provide women with the health care they need,” he added.

He also said that in addition to giving them access to free and specialized medical care and equipment, we will also work with medical experts to continuously guide them on how to prevent serious illnesses through early detection.

Prior to the opening of her women’s health clinic, Ang said SMC conducted an in-person survey of 170 women in their BWT community.

The survey found that nearly 30% of respondents suffered from reproductive health-related diseases, including breast and cervical cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and myomas.

This percentage can even increase, once again, women undergo a thorough medical examination in the clinic.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an agency of the World Health Organization, breast and cervical cancers were the top two cancers in terms of incidence among Filipino women in 2020.

The agency recorded 27,163 new cases of breast cancer and 7,897 new cases of cervical cancer in that year alone.

Various studies have also shown that low health literacy and high costs of cancer diagnosis are major issues affecting how this disease is treated and prevented in the Philippines, especially in poor urban communities.

Members are mothers of students who participate in BWT’s after-school learning program and those who volunteer for the general upkeep of the center, which includes cooking and cleaning.

Family members and dependents of these women, as well as those living in nearby communities, can also take advantage of the clinic’s free consultation, while other medical services will be made available to them for a fee. very minimal.

In the coming months, SMC also plans to work with a number of barangays in the area to host family planning sessions at the clinic.

This is SMC’s second major initiative to advocate for the importance of health among disadvantaged women.
Earlier this year, SMC opened Better World Cubao (BWC), a health, empowerment and recovery (HER) center for women from disadvantaged backgrounds, including victims of domestic and sexual violence.

BWC holds regular workshops on gender equality, marriage, parenting and building a sense of worth. It also provides free health education sessions and reproductive health services to hundreds of mothers in nearby communities.

SMC recently launched the free women’s health clinic during BWT’s third anniversary celebration.

SMC created Better World Tondo in September 2019 in partnership with Rise Against Hunger and AHA Learning Center to help improve food security for poor urban families and access to quality education for children in Tondo.

Since then, it has served over 250,000 meals and distributed over 80,000 grocery packs for families in Tondo.

The center has received nearly P90 million in donations, including frozen and canned goods and dairy products from partner companies and commercial establishments.

It also receives surplus agricultural produce from the social enterprise Rural Rising PH and Better World Diliman, SMC’s ready market for surplus agricultural produce purchased from farmers at above-farm prices.

The center’s after-school learning program has also benefited over 600 students since 2019.

During the pandemic, BWT operated as a food bank and soup kitchen providing an average of 5,000 ready-to-go meals for beneficiaries and locally stranded people. It also offered after-school learning programs for beneficiary children online.