Report surveys chronic diseases among Filipinos in San Francisco

Report surveys chronic diseases among Filipinos in San Francisco

/ 09:11 AM September 02, 2020

Our Health, Our Community ambassador training. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO – Up to 63% of Filipino residents of three San Francisco neighborhoods have a family history of chronic diseases, a recently released report by a community health initiative found.

“Our Health, Our Community” report is based on a survey led by SOMCAN that focused on three neighborhoods of South of Market, Tenderloin and Excelsior.


The survey looked into the Filipino community’s “behaviors, perceptions, attitudes, knowledge, and other built environmental factors that increases and lowers their risk for chronic diseases.”

Ruby N. Turalba, MPH, professor in the Department of Health Education at SF State University and a workshop facilitator of the health program, says that almost all Filipinos have a family member with a chronic health issue.


SOMCAN infographic

Chronic diseases disproportionately affect many communities in the U.S., but Filipino Americans suffer a higher rate of chronic diseases, specifically, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity compared to other populations.

Turalba says there had been no published report on the chronic health of San Francisco’s Filipino residents and that the purpose of the research project is to document the health experience of the Filipino community.

“SOMCAN’s health programs and workshops are important for the Filipino community to prevent chronic diseases and improve overall health,” says Turalba. “SOMCAN’s Our Health, Our Community programs also provide a space for community members to come together, talk about our shared experiences, share resources, and provide support. We hope that this study will inform public health strategies, as well as guide advocacy efforts and organizing campaigns to improve the health of our community.”

Health ambassador Emelita Ebol says, “The health information given can be applied to one’s own health or to their families. It also influences one’s personal health habits and lifestyle.”

The health assessment findings can guide SOMCAN’s community health and wellness activities as well as the dissemination of culturally-appropriate chronic disease prevention and educational materials.

The Our Health, Our Community program was made possible by the San Francisco Public Health Foundation, Sugary Drinks Distributor Tax Healthy Communities Grants Program. A copy of the report will be posted on SOMCAN’s website and a downloadable copy can be requested.

Ruby N. Turalba MPH, standing second from right, Emelita Ebol, seated second from left with facilitators and health ambassadors during a n 8-hour training at the SOMCAN office. CONTRIBUTED

For more information about the Our Health, Our Community program and report, contact Alyssa Daulat at [email protected]

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TAGS: chronic diseases among Filipinos in San Francisco, Filipino community health survey, Our Community Our Health, public health survey, SOMCAN
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