In line with the World Psoriasis Day celebration, the latest installment of the Institute’s Communication and Engagement Office’s RITM Live: Ask the Expert series was broadcasted on October 28, 2022 with focus on the psoriatic disease and its burden, particularly the accompanying mental health struggles.
Psoriasis is a life-long disfiguring and disabling disease with no known cure. It primarily affects the skin, manifesting as lesions and plaques that cause itching and pain; and is associated with a number of comorbidities that can cause serious health issues and in worst cases, death.
RITM Dermatology Department OIC-Head Dr. Leilani Senador served as the episode’s resource person where she provided a lecture on the symptoms and clinical management of psoriatic diseases and answered questions from the live audiences.
“Ang psoriasis ay isang sakit na walang lubos na paggaling pero kaya po nating ma-control. Ito po ay hindi nakahahawa, napaka-importante po na malaman nyong hindi ito makakahawa. Bigyan po natin sila ng suporta at huwag po nating pandirihan ang mga pasyente na may psoriasis. Sila po ay alam natin na nakararanas ng matinding depression [at] anxiety, at kailangang maging sensitibo tayo sa mga nararamdaman ng ating mga pasyente na may psoriasis,” said Dr. Senador, calling for compassion and support for the people who are affected by the disease.
Dr. Senador also emphasized the importance of early detection and intervention by qualified health care providers to address its associated co-morbidities and prevent severe complications.
The International Federation of Psoriatic Disease Association (IFPA) reported that one in ten people with psoriatic disease is diagnosed with clinical depression, and up to 48% of the 60 million people living with psoriasis worldwide are estimated to have anxiety.
In the country, there are 1.8 million Filipinos living with psoriasis.
One of the ongoing efforts to address the burden of the disease in the country is the House Bill No. 9821, entitled: “An Act Institutionalizing a National Psoriasis Care Program and Appropriating Funds Therefor.” The bill was approved by the Congress’ Committee on Health last November 16, 2021. If enacted into law, it will address the unmet needs and improve the quality of life of Filipinos living with psoriatic disease by scaling up essential programs and increasing investments for the management of psoriatic disease.
“We are pushing for the Psoriasis bill to give access to treatment and care for psoriatic patients. We are very hopeful and we ask your support by giving a louder voice for Filipinos living with psoriatic disease,” said President of the Psoriasis Philippines Paul Mendoza,.
Psoriasis Philippines is SEC-registered and globally-recognized organization representing the interests of the millions of Filipinos believed to be suffering in silence with psoriasis. They are also a partner for this episode and shared their advocacy during the live.
Watch the episode here: RITM Live Episode 05: Psoriasis
By Reina Manongsong, Communication and Engagement Office