Know the common blood diseases and nutrients for healthy blood

Blood plays important functions for the body. Composed of plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, blood circulates through our body and transports oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removes waste from the cells.

As we celebrate Blood Diseases Month by virtue of the Proclamation No. 1833 declared by the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009, here are some common blood diseases and ways to keep your blood healthy:

Common blood diseases

  • Anemia, the most common blood disorder in the general population, is a condition in which the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein inside the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

A person with anemia experiences shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, headache, chest pain, dizziness, pale skin, and insomnia.

In treating anemia, the primary aim is to increase the number of healthy red blood cells in the body. Depending on the type of anemia, common treatment for anemic persons includes iron supplements intake, change of diet, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant.

  • Hemophilia is a genetic disorder which affects the blood's ability to clot due to low levels of blood-clotting proteins.

Signs and symptoms of hemophilia varies on the levels of clotting factor. People with mild deficiency may bleed after a surgery or trauma, while in severe cases, spontaneous bleeding occurs.

There is no cure yet for this condition. The only treatment available for hemophilia is replacement therapy wherein, concentrates of clotting factor VIII (for hemophilia A) and IX (for hemophilia B) are slowly dripped or injected into the vein. This helps in replacing the defective clotting factor of the blood.

  • Leukemia is a type of cancer which affects the blood and bone marrow. The cancer happens when the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These cells overpower the healthy blood cells and continue to increase and occupy more space, making it hard for healthy white blood cells to function normally.

Leukemia comes with two different types- acute and chronic.  Acute leukemia grows rapidly while chronic leukemia grows slowly.  

The causes of leukemia are still unknown. However, there are some factors that increases the risk of developing the cancer such as exposure to radiation and chemicals like benzene, cigarette smoking, hair dyes, family history of the same case, and genetic disorders such as down syndrome. Early signs of this condition include weight loss, fevers or chills, frequent infections, bone and joint pain, bleeding and bruising problem, tiredness, and weight and appetite loss.

Treatment for this condition depends on the type of leukemia and the person's health treatment capability. Types of treatment involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immune therapy, stem cell therapy, and surgery.

Nutrients for healthy blood

Changing your lifestyle especially your diet could help keep your blood on track and healthy.  Foods rich in iron, vitamin B-12, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin B-9 are essential in order for your blood to function well.

Iron is an important nutrient that increases the production of red blood cells. Food rich in iron are red meat, organ meat, beans, cereals, tofu, dark chocolate, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage.

Vitamin A is essential in normal development of stem cells into red blood cells. It is also needed for the immune system to function normally and actively. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, tuna fish, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and dark leafy green vegetables such as kale and lettuce.

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin which supports glucose and protein metabolism. It also supports the production of hemoglobin, a protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Vitamin B6 is essential in nurturing and maintaining blood health. This vitamin can be found in chicken, bananas, tomatoes, whole grains, nuts, green beans, liver, and fish.

Vitamin B-9 or folic acid helps in protein metabolism and RNA/DNA production and repair. It is vital in making red blood cells. Best sources of folate include nuts, dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and edible greens such as asparagus, beans, and breads.

Vitamin B12 keeps nerve tissues healthy and sustain blood cell production. Animal products such as fish, red meat, eggs, and dairy products like milk and cheese naturally contains vitamin B-12

Blood diseases could be very dangerous especially if not treated properly and immediately. Celebrating Blood Diseases Month serves as an avenue to raise people’s awareness and understanding of blood-related diseases.

In support with its advocacy of disseminating health research information, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development invites medical and research institutions and practitioners, universities, laboratories, and other partner institutions to publish their researches and other health-related information in Health Research and Development Information Network (HERDIN), an online database that enables online publishing, exchanging, and dissemination of quality health information in the Philippines.

For more information HERDIN and other blood-related researches, visit HERDIN’s website at

Source: American Society of Hematology

“Learning does not end after graduation. It is a continuous journey that only those with receptive minds and humble hearts can embark on.” A practical advice from Dr. Arturo Dela Pena, Chief Executive Officer and President of St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) to the graduates of the 20th Commencement Exercises of St. Luke’s College of Medicine on 15 July 2018.

Four scholars namely Alexis Labrador, John Paul Llido, Neil Jade Palude, and Jerica Isabel Reyes earned their Master’s degree in Molecular Medicine under the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resources Development Program (ASTHRDP). ASTHRDP is a scholarship program offered by DOST-Science Education Institute, in partnership with the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

Proving their excellence and commitment to science, the four scholars maintained good academic standing throughout their stay in the program. The scholars are very well versed in the studies of the latest biotechnologies such as cell-based therapies, gene-therapies, targeted therapies, biomarker technologies, molecular diagnostic, pharmacogenomics, and personalized medicine.

MS Molecular Medicine Program is a joint initiative of the DOST, through PCHRD, and SLCM which aims to produce adept laboratory researchers capable of pioneering innovative health researches as basis for future health policies. Indeed, through the program, the scholars were able to upgrade their skills for the application of molecular medicine in the clinical setting. More specifically, the students are able to obtain firm foundation in the bio medical sciences and relevant emerging technologies and receive training in a broad spectrum of the application of molecular medicine.

Every year, PCHRD search for potential scholars with great mind and vision in the hopes that their talent reinforced by education and training will benefit the health research and development agenda of the country particularly in molecular medicine. Now more than ever, we need more researchers and explorers that will find solutions to the health needs of the Filipinos through research and innovation.

For more information on DOST-PCHRD funded scholarships, visit

With the goal of increasing awareness of the Research Utilization Committee (RUC) members from the region on barriers and opportunities in translating research into policy and strategies to affect change on current policy environment of the regional consortia members, three health research champions were invited to share their experiences on influencing health policy through research. Attended by 75 RUC members, policy influencers and communication practitioners, the preconference session was held as part of the 12th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week in Baguio City on 7 August 2018.

In the morning session, three notable speakers and Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. Health Research Award (AROHRA) winners namely, Dr. Ronald Matias (St.Luke’s Medical Center), Dr. Carmencita Padilla (UP Manila) and Dr. Mario V. Capanzana (DOST-FNRI) shared their journey of translating their research into policy.

Dr. Ronald Matias, Senior Scientist, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City, discussed the St. Luke’s Dengue Research Program on dengue surveillance, assessment and emerging technologies. As there are already existing policies by the WHO and DOH, implementation of dengue prevention and control should be accompanied by timely and innovative researches which are integrated into policy. With the goal of reducing the incidence of the disease, Dr. Matias emphasizes that research and development efforts must be converted into public health solutions.

Dr. Carmencita Padilla, Chancellor, University of the Philippines, Manila (UPM) highlighted the history of the National Newborn Screening Program from being a UPM and DOST-funded research project in 1996 to being the Newborn Screening Law (R.A. 9288) in 2004 as it went through the arduous process of policy-making. Dr. Padilla shared some strategies that can influence public policy which included: a) working with a collaborative, multi-disciplinary and persistent study group, b) having a range of effective communication strategies that must reach the public, the professionals and the policymakers, c) generating data and developing it into peer-reviewed publications to be used as basis for policy, d) engaging stakeholders and building public-private partnerships to create a multi-environment for easier adaptation, and e) identifying champions for policy development who will sponsor or lobby the advocacy.

Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) talked about undernutrition and its consequences not only at the individual but also at the national level. According to Dr. Capanzana, malnutrition, in its many forms, causes the country to lose around 1.5% of its GDP and also increase health costs. Research conducted by the FNRI has prompted the creation of the policy on Food Fortification as a way to mitigate micronutrient deficiency, a facet of malnutrition. Refinement of food fortification technology and studies on the efficacy of Iron-fortified Rice had been instrumental in technology transfer and commercialization of Iron-Fortified Rice as a Scaling-up strategy to also achieve food security.

In the afternoon session, a workshop was held for the participating members of the Regional Consortia for Health Research and Development. Each region was tasked to present a Research to Policy Plan involving one current or prospective research project using a template derived from the discussions in the morning session
The Department of Health (DOH), through its AHEAD (Advancing Health through Evidence-Assisted Decisions) strategy, aims to inform the health sector’s global and national administrative and legislative policy agenda, create an equitable and enabling environment for health policy and systems researchers all over the country, and ensure the progressive realization of the envisioned research system.

With the continued commitment of DOH in training the next generation for health sector leaders, researchers, policy analysts, and program managers, they have partnered with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research Development (DOST-PCHRD) in order to implement the DOH Research Fellowship Program.

The program is a two-year intensive Health Policy and Systems Research Fellowship intended for early career professionals who are considering a career in research. A pre-fellowship or internship is being made available for highly qualified applicants who demonstrate interest in health policy and systems research in the context of research to policy translation. Graduates of the internship program may proceed to apply to the fellowship program.


To develop capacity of Health Policy and Systems Research Interns in the process of research to policy translation


1. Standard deliverables
     a. Accomplishment report approved by the DOH supervisor every month
     b. Back-to-Office report for all meetings/workshops attended
     c. Technical report for all meetings/workshops organized
     d. One brown bag session organized or facilitated every month
     e. At least 5 memoranda every month
2. Station-dependent, in addition to #1:
     a. At least 2 policy reviews every month; includes drafting policy issuances as maybe needed, if deployed to Health Policy Division
     b. At least 2 program strategy, and performance/plan analysis and budget analysis every month, if deployed to Health Planning Division
     c. At least 2 position papers every month, if deployed to the Legislative Liaison Division


1. Adhere to agency policies, procedures, and rules governing professional behaviour

2. Be punctual, and work the required number of hours: 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday
3. Notify their supervisor if they are unable to attend
4. Behave and dress appropriately to the particular workplace
5. Respect the confidentiality of the workplace, its clients and its employees.
6. If things are slow, take the initiative and volunteer for different tasks or other work.
7. Discuss any problems with their supervisor and, if necessary, with the Internship coordinator at the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau
8. Other technical tasks as may be required

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Bachelor’s degree, field of study must be on public health or any related area in the social and medical sciences; post-graduate degree is an advantage
2. At least one (1) year work experience, previous work experience in DOH is a plus factor
3. At least eight (8) hours of relevant training


1. A genuine interest in health policy issues
2. Excellent English-language writing skills and the ability to present information in a variety of formats and styles for difference audiences
3. Strong skills in planning, preparing and delivering remarks
4. Strong organizational and administrative skills; with keen attention to detail
5. Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well in a team with others
6. Ability to develop work plans, set deadlines, work well with minimal supervision, prioritize assignments, and organize multiple projects and duties simultaneously while meeting deadlines
7. Ability to work effectively as a member of a team, know when to act independently and when to consult for advice on decision-making
8. A willingness to carry out a wide range of activities, including both professional and logistical tasks
9. Strong computer skills with familiarity with Microsoft Office, email clients, Internet research, and social networking tools
10. Flexibility with respect to schedule, working hours, travel, and work assignments, including ability to work overtime or on weekends when necessary; reliable job attendance essential


Two years, non-renewable

For BS/BA degree holders: At least PHP 25,000.00 NETT
For MS/MA degree holders: At least PHP 30,000.00 NETT

Expression of Interest:

Qualified applicants may file their application together with the following documents at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

1. Cover letter addressed to:

Director IV
Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau
Department of Health

2. Curriculum Vitae

Deadline of submission is on or before September 18, 2018.

For queries, contact Ms. Juanita R. Valeza at 651-7800 local 1326/1328 or Ms. Ian Hannah C. Gozun at (02) 837-2071 local 2117.

Nakikiisa ang Philippine Council for Health Research and Development sa selebrasyon ng Buwan ng Wika na may temang “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik.” Bilang pangunahing ahensya ng Kagawaran ng Agham at Teknolohiya na nangangasiwa sa pananaliksik sa larangan ng kalusugan, hinihikayat ng Konseho ang pagpapalawig ng paggamit at pangtangkilik ng wikang pambansa sa pananaliksik, hindi lamang tuwing buwan ng wika, kung hindi pati na rin sa pang araw-araw na kagamitan.

At bagamat mas nakararami ang mga nailimbag na saliksik na nakasulat sa wikang Ingles, mayroon pa ring mga mananaliksik na naglilimbag sa Filipino, tulad na lamang ng ilang saliksik na matagpuan sa HERDIN, ang pambansang repositoryo ng saliksik sa kalusugan, ilan sa mga nailimbag na artikulo ay:

  1. Ang sampung pangunahing sakit ng mga Filipino
  2. Parmakolohiya sa komunidad: Mga ipinagbibiling gamot sa mga sarisari store sa ilang barangay sa isang bayan sa timog Luzon at
  3. Parmakolohiya sa komunidad: Mga nakatagong gamot sa mga bahay sa Barangay Bungo, Gapan, Nueva Ecija

Kaakibat ng pagtangkilik sa mga saliksik na sinulat at nailimbag sa wikang Filipino, nais din namin palawigin ang paggamit ng wikang Filipino sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng ilang direktang salin ng mga salitang agham at medikal tulad ng:

1. Haynayan – biology; isang natural na agham na nauukol sa pagaaral ng buhay at mga nabubuhay na organismo
Mikhaynayan – microbiology; isang natural na agham ukol pagaaral sa miktataghay o microorganism
Mulatling Haynayan – molecular biology; pagaaral ng mga istruktura at tungkulin ng mulatil o molecule sa mga nabubuhay na organismo


Bata pa lamang ay paborito na ni Jose ang haynayan, at ngayon, isa na siyang palabaga na naimbita na magsalita sa susunod na Philippine National Health Research System Week.

2. Palapuso –
cardiologist; isang dalubhasa ng palapusuan o cardiology
Palabaga – pulmonologist; isang dalubhasa ng palabagaan o pulmonology
Paladiglap – radiologist; isang dalubhasa ng paladiglapan o radiology


Nakuha mo na ba ng resulta ng iyong rayos-ekis sa paladiglap?

3. Kagaw – germ; mga miktataghay na nagdudulot ng sakit


Karamihan ng patalastas sa telebisyon ngayon tungkol sa alkohol ay nangangako na pupuksa sa siyamnapu’t siyam na pursyento ng mga kagaw.

4. Sihay –
cell; ang pinakapayak na kayarian ng mga buhay na organismo


Isinali ni Melchor ang kanyang saliksik tungkol sa hatimbutod o mitosis ng mga sihay sa susunod na National Medical Writing Workshop na gaganapin sa Zamboanga.

5. Muntilipay –
platelet; mga selula o sihay na may mahalagang papel sa pagpagaling ng mga sugat na dumadaan sa daluyan ng dugo 


Nalaman nilang may dengue si Maria nang magpositibo siya sa resulta ng Biotek-M  Dengue Aqua kit, at nalaman ding bumabagsak na ang bilang ng kanyang muntilipay.

6. Kaphay – plasma; isang bahagi ng dugo na ang pangunahing trabaho ay ang transportasyon ng mga ensyma, nutrisyon, at hormona


Itinuturing ng World Health Organization ang kaphay ng dugo na kabilang sa listahan ng mga pinakaimportanteng gamot na kailangan sa isang matagumpay at organisadong sistemang pangkalusugan.

7. Iti, daragis, balaod – tuberculosis; impeksyon sa baga na nagmumula sa isang uri ng ishay o bacteria, ang Myobacterium tuberculosis


Ang TB-Fit ay isang programang naglalayong subaybayan ang mga kaso ng iti sa mga komunidad upang makagawa ng sistematikong solusyon sa deteksyon ng naturang sakit.

8. Sukduldiin, altapresyon – hypertension; isang medikal na kondisyon kung saan ang presyon ng dugo sa mga malaking ugat ay labis na mataas


Ayon sa pagaaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas-Maynila, may malaking papel ang hene o genes sa pagkakaroon ng karamdaman tulad ng altapresyon, sakit sa puso, at dyslipidemia.

9. Mangansumpong –
arthritis; ang pamamaga sa mga kasu-kasuan na nagiging sanhi ng kawalan ng kakayahang maiunat o maibaluktot at paninigas ng bahaging ito
Piyo – Gout; isang uri ng mangansumpong o rayuma na dulot ng abnormal na metabolismo ng uric acid.


Ayon sa Philippine Rheumatology Association, noong 2015, mahigit kumulang 1.6 milyong Pilipino ang may piyo na labis na nakakaapekto sa kanilang pangaraw-araw na pamumuhay.

10 .Balinguyngoy – nosebleed; pagdurugo ng ilong


Madalas na sinasabi na nakakadulot ng balinguyngoy ang labis na pagsasalita ng Ingles, pero sa katotohanan, ang pagkatuyo ng bamban o membrane sa loob ng ilong ang kadalasang sanhi nito.

Ngayong buwan ng wika, patuloy natin paigtingin ang paggamit at pagtangkilik sa sariling atin. Bagamat ang paggamit ng Ingles sa pananaliksik ay nagdudulot na mas maintindihan tayo ng mga banyaga, ang paggamit ng Filipino ay nakakatulong na maiparating natin ang mensahe at resulta ng ating trabaho sa mga payak na mamamayan. Kaya sa pagpapamuhay ng temang “Filipino: Wika ng Saliksik,” nawa’y patuloy nating ipagtibay ang ating layunin na makamit ang mas mabuti at mas produktibong kalusugan para sa lahat ng Pilipino!