Vital health issues


    ‘It’s time for every decent Filipino, most especially the youth of the land, to stand up and be counted, and come to the aid of our country. After all, the health of our nation is at stake, and its survival, is in our hands.’

    ON Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 5:48 PM EST, the total global cases of COVID-19 was 29,676,303, deaths – 937,519; Philippines: 269,407 cases, deaths – 4,663; United States: 6,778,273 cases, deaths – 199,893; followed by India, 5,018, 034, deaths – 82,091; Brazil, 4,382,263, deaths – 133,119; Russia, 1,073,849, deaths – 18,785. There are almost 11,000 COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos around the world. The cases among nations and cities around the world are very fluid, and increase almost every few minutes.

    Some anti-COVID-19 vaccines are now in their third stage clinical trials, making it possible for at least one to be available by the end of this year or early next year. In the meantime, evidence-based data available today show social distancing and wearing facemasks are effective in minimizing the risk of getting COVID-19. Some countries have mandated mask-wearing in public, with steep penalty, even jail term, for violators. Societal protection and security, especially for the most vulnerable persons, is vital, and outweigh individual civil right.

    UVC destroys viruses

    Ultraviolet light was discovered by German physicist Johann Wilhelm Ritter in 1801 and its power to destroy microbes was first noted in 1878. Since then, and after its radiation effect on DNA was proven in 1960, UVC light (wavelength: 100-400, the shortest one compared to UVA and UVB) has been used for food (meat-fish-poultry-fruit-vegetables), air, and water by industries to sterilize and protect the public around the world for more than a century. Besides killing bacteria, protozoa, molds, UVC light also destroys viruses, including SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) virus. A UVC portable 2-gallon-size tabletop sterile Tote (bag), with USB connection, is available to sterilize, baby bottles/bibs/pacifier/toys, electronic devices (CPAP masks and tubing, cell-phones, tablets, headsets/camera lenses), watches, jewelry, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, and any item that fits in this tote), including food items. When the UVC light is on, the lid of the tote should be closed, to prevent eye and skin exposure. For more info, email:

    Shaken Baby Syndrome 

    About 1000 children die each year from a condition called Shaken Baby Syndrome. As the name suggests, the baby is shaken, resulting in either broken neck bones, bleeding in or around the brain, causing severe injury and most of the time, death. Shaking the baby’s head back and forth is very dangerous. The impact on the brain could cause seizure disorder, mental retardation or blindness, if the baby survives. A common precipitating situation is when the baby won’t stop crying, causing the tired and overwhelmed ignorant mother or baby sitter to be so upset as to shake the baby to make the infant stop the crying. The baby is so delicate that the shaking has resulted in many a fatality.

    Babies cry for a reason. They may be hungry, wet, colicky, in need of burping, or sick.

    Picking them up and carrying them for a while, or rocking them, putting them in a stroller, or even taking them for a ride, often help, after all those reasons have been properly addressed. But no matter what, remember never, never shake a baby, and always support and protect their delicate neck.

    If you are taking care of an irritable baby, whose usual demands you have met, and the baby still cries, and you are terribly exhausted and frustrated, and your patience is down to zero, leave the baby in the crib for a few minutes, or ask for help from a relative or a friend. A moment of anger causing an unintended injury to the baby may result in a lifetime of guilt, regrets, and pain.

    Anti-flu nasal spray vaccine

    Influenza, which afflicts about 40 million of American each year, is a viral infection in the nose, throat and lungs, sending 150,000 people to the hospital each year and its complications killing about 25,000 of them. The flu shot is well known and effective, but a lesser painful way to get the vaccine is by nasal spray. However, it is not for everyone.

    Those who should not get the spray are: children younger than 5 years old, adults 50 and over, pregnant women, those with allergy to eggs or had allergic reaction to flu vaccine in the past, people with Guillain-Barre syndrome, people with weakened immune system, and patients with long term health problems. Before considering the nasal spray flu vaccine, confer with your physician.

    Influenza can kill

    Flu can be fatal. The best is to avoid it, by getting the flu vaccine. It is not 100% guaranteed to prevent the flu, but when it occurs after getting the vaccine, the flu is usually a lot milder. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks for the vaccine to take effect. There are antiviral medications that can also prevent the flu. To prevent the getting or spreading of the flu, wash hands frequently, keep distance from people with the flu, cover mouth and nose when coughing, avoid secondhand smoke, quit if you are a smoker, drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water daily, and, of course, live a healthy lifestyle, which will strengthen the immune system.

    Condom not 100% safe

    Condom is used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and as a means of contraception. The public in general has the impression that condoms are fully protective. Studies of various brands of condoms in different countries revealed that about 2-3% of condoms have holes in them, right out of the factory. Rough handling by the user can also cause minute tears. This obviously means the user is not totally safe and has at least 2-3% risk of getting STD from an infected partner, and/or women with condom-wearing partner has a 2-3% risk of getting pregnant. As for STDs, when one gets HIV, it is not 2-3%, but 100% devastating.

    Our Nation’s Health

    The Philippines is afflicted with the cancer of pervasive graft and corruption among countless officials in the nation, and even earned the shameful distinction of being the most corrupt in Asia. A Dollar Moral Crusade Against Graft and Corruption in the Philippines has been launched overseas by the Filipino United Network (FUN) to encourage accountability, honesty, and transparency in governance. The news about this movement (see its inspiring challenge at its website: is in all Filipino-American newspapers in the United States and some in the Philippines. It’s time for every decent Filipino, most especially the youth of the land, to stand up and be counted, and come to the aid of our country. After all, the health of our nation is at stake, and its survival, is in our hands.

    The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities and achieve a happier and more productive life.

    Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.


    Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, a Health Advocate, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. Websites: and Email: