14 November 2012- The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, in coordination with the Hong Kong College of Community and Public Health Nursing and Hong Kong College of Mental Health Nursing, conducted successive lectures in its premises on Practical Tips for Women’s Health and General Knowledge on Mental Health for the Filipino community in Hong Kong on November 4 and 11.
Practical Tips for Women’s Health
Ms Margaret Fung discussed the benefits of cervical screening and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to prevent cervical cancer and other cervical diseases. Ms. Yonnie Ngai provided practical tips on personal hygiene and use of antibiotics while Ms. Ming-chu Chang gave an overview of sexually transmitted infections and ways to prevent contracting such diseases.
Majority of the participants sought clarifications on the need for cervical screening, citing their age and sexual activity or inactivity. The resource persons, however, affirmed the need for these tests for women aged 25 to 65 as this was the period where women would be most susceptible to such health risks.
General Knowledge on Mental Health
Mr. Michael Mak Kwok-fung, Department Operations Manager of the Kwai Chung Hospital and President of the Hong Kong College of Mental Health Nursing, discussed the possible causes and clinical features of depression, factors leading to suicide and para-suicide and strategies to prevent suicide.
According to Mr. Mak, most people are vulnerable and remain unaware of the clinical signs of depression, e.g., lack of sleep, eating disorders, headache, gastro-intestinal upsets or fatigue. Many do not think that anyone can help them or they are able to cope with the problem themselves. However, Mr. Mak cited studies which showed that, if left untreated, at least 15 percent of such cases can lead to suicide.
Mr, Mak elicited strong reactions when he cited that persons, especially women and those working overseas, are among the most vulnerable to bouts of depression and sadness. One overseas Filipino worker (OFW) affirmed this observation when she cited periods of depression and how she coped with these through overeating. A number also attributed their depression to abusive employers.
As a strategy, Mr. Mak advised the participants to adapt their behavior to their new environment to enhance their coping capabilities and “not to delay seeking professional medical help” once crucial signs are identified. Having a network of friends to seek mutual help is also beneficial.
The lectures are part of the Philippine Consulate General’s continuing efforts to promote health awareness and well-being among Filipino workers in Hong Kong.