September 2006
Health and the Filipino

We’re back!

BUT not quite with the look that we wanted just yet, and it may take a few more weeks before this nth transformation of i Report is completed. We couldn’t wait, however, because while we may not be married to any format, we are certainly committed to our readers and to what we do. For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

Speaking of which, i Report takes another look at health and the Filipino this September. The topic is not only apt in a country that has long been derided as the “sick man of Asia”; our weakening economy and turbulent politics have also wrought serious disturbances to our physical and psychological well-being. We may have escaped bird flu — so far — but this is a country that still has thousands of its citizens dying each year from tuberculosis and even diarrhea. Note, too, how more people (including the president) seem to be falling ill from stress.

But we begin at the beginning: with babies and the continuing war between breast milk and milk formula. Long after most people thought the matter already settled, it has turned out that mothers who breastfeed are becoming scarce (although most have probably memorized the tagline “Breast milk is best for babies” that has accompanied each milk ad since 1986). The article comes with a podcast by lawyer Ipat Luna, who broke a “family tradition” by breastfeeding her son.

In the next three weeks, we shall tackle medical tourism, stress and the Filipino, and caring for the caregiver. We shall also take a look at what has become of the generics law. We invite you as well to share with us your own experiences with our country’s healthcare system.

A new story (or stories) will be posted each Wednesday. Most will have multimedia features. During some Mondays, but perhaps not this month, we will also post a newsfeature or analysis that does not fall under the current issue’s topic. Last week, in fact, we had “The Jumpy Ladies of Lebanon” by contributor Herbert Docena.

Please bear with us while our site undergoes cosmetic surgery. We promise the pain of enduring all the nips and tucks (and, hopefully not, the occasional crash) will be worth it.