Irene Maglonzo reports on two years' successes in the Philippines.

Photo: above is one of the Philippine Academy World Family Doctor Day celebrations- always big events.

Eva ‘Irene’ Yu Maglonzo MD has just completed her two year term as president of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP). Here she reflects on two years’ of achievements.

We set the bar high and challenged ourselves to achieve most of the targets in the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP) Strategic Plan 2015-2020 – a seemingly impossible task. This is where the pressure and the stresses started.

Having the privilege, as PAFP President, to visit the PAFP chapters during their Induction ceremonies, I had the opportunity to have a leadership dialogue with the officers and members. Having visited 48 out of 53 chapters, I learned about their challenges, issues and successes. Our (me and my executive committee) leadership journey faced difficulties and challenges but we persevered, supported, encouraged and motivated each other to climb over the ‘barbed wired wall’ of challenges and surmount the web of difficulties.

I strongly believe that if we aim at the moon, and know where we are aiming at, even if we missed it, we will surely land among the STARS. And, we have indeed landed among the stars.

Accomplishing the targets achieved were the following: Service to Members, Training and Education, Advocacies, Research and Publication and Social collaboration.

Service to Members: we had the new PAFP logo designed to depict care for the family; website and library enhancement; disability and death benefits for the members; invested in long term funds to sustain it; and promotion of Family Medicine through video for lay and medical students. Social media, television and radio appearances were also done. The World Family Doctor day celebration highlighted the important role of family physicians in the community.

Training and Education: we are an accredited Continuing Professional Development provider by the Professional Regulations Commission and have cascaded various modules and innovations on this including online modules and webcasts. The Specialty board examination was assessed by an external evaluator as part of our partnership with the European Union to be at par with global standards. Ten new programs in Family Medicine were accredited making a total of 82 accredited programs in partnership with the Department of Health. Standardized outcome–based education curriculum in basic Medical Education in Preventive, Family and Community Medicine was disseminated and implemented by some medical schools.

Advocacies include wellness for families through the help of Community Health workers who were trained; and the dissemination of Family Health booklets which facilitated utilization of preventive services in some communities of the chapters. Other projects related to this are the following: Lay fora on smoking cessation, Healthy Ageing and Healthy Heart. The PAFP also issued the Statement on Excise Tax on Sugary Beverages and Statement on Cheaper Medicine act for the welfare of the Filipino families.

Photo: Irene participating in the Wellness for families activity.

Research and Publication was enhanced through peer review training and formulating the consensus statements on Wellness for Older Persons, clinical pathways on hypertension, bronchitis, dyspepsia, wellness and collaborating with the Department of Health in formulation of clinical practice guidelines.

Social collaboration with government and non government organizations provided the means for easier implementation of advocacies and projects.

At the end of our leadership’s journey, we look back with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and pride.

Photo: Irene participating in the Checkup activity.

I was greatly heartened by the positive feedback received from members, colleagues, friends, partners and most significantly from the families in the community whom we have touched their lives.

“Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change”

Irene Maglonzo has been a WONCA Featured doctor - read more about her here