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Smile Train expands cleft care services in Phl

Every day, more than 540 babies are born with a cleft around the world, an ongoing reality that calls for comprehensive solutions to help them overcome challenges and live a happy, healthy life.

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Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization, announced today the establishment of four Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) centers across the Philippines to increase accessibility of treatment to cleft-affected individuals and their families.

Every day, more than 540 babies are born with a cleft around the world, an ongoing reality that calls for comprehensive solutions to help them overcome challenges and live a happy, healthy life. 

For the past two decades, Smile Train has supported more than 64,000 cleft surgeries through its 50+ partner hospitals and organizations throughout Philippines. As the organization marks its 20th anniversary in the country, it is further expanding its services to include nutrition support, orthodontic and dental treatment, and speech therapy in more locations across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. 

“Smile Train’s goal is to provide those born with a cleft the necessary holistic care beyond their initial surgeries. We will continue to build a network that will bring comprehensive cleft care to Filipinos, so they have the support and the tools they need to overcome any challenge. Through this network and these comprehensive cleft centers, we aim to ultimately provide them the ability to work, play, and live happy, healthy and productive lives,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Vice-President for South East Asia. 

Smile Train’s geographical and programmatic expansion comes as the organization celebrates National Cleft and Craniofacial awareness month this July. Smile Train has launched comprehensive cleft centers at partner hospitals including the Philippine Band of Mercy and Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital in Metro Manila, San Fernandino Hospital in Pampanga, and Mabuhay Deseret Foundation in ARC Hospital in Cebu. At these centers, in addition to surgeries, parents and patients in need can access nutrition counselling and nutrition services, orthodontic treatment, and speech therapy sessions at no cost.   

These institutions have served as Smile Train’s partners for years, helping patients from across different provinces and performing thousands of cleft surgeries with the assistance of Smile Train, and will be continuing to do so in an increased capacity as CCC centers. Philippine Band of Mercy has performed 25,300 Smile Train-funded cleft surgeries since 2002; Marikina St. Vincent has performed 1,900+ cleft surgeries since 2011; San Fernando Hospital has done over 1,000 cleft surgeries since 2011; and Mabuhay Deseret Foundation has performed 1,500+ cleft surgeries since 2008. Additional partner hospitals will be able to provide CCC in the coming months.  

More on Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC)

Comprehensive cleft care complements cleft surgery, which Smile Train has been providing at no cost to families in need for over 20 years in the Philippines. Cleft treatment is not a one-off process or even just a series of surgeries, but often requires a holistic approach including nutritional support, dental and orthodontic care, psychosocial support, and speech therapy. CCC is provided by an interdisciplinary, supportive team of highly trained professionals that typically includes geneticists, nutritionists, surgeons, nurses, speech therapists, ENTs, audiologists, mental health counselors, dentists, and orthodontists, among others. For Smile Train and its medical partners, CCC means that each person with cleft has access to all the care they need in order to thrive.

The expansion of Smile Train’s CCC footprint also supports its efforts to promote a working telehealth network, which will allow patients to access CCC despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and geography.

In the Philippines, the pandemic has not gotten in the way of Smile Train’s efforts to help cleft patients, providing over 1,800+ surgeries (pandemic-related) done in 2020, and 1,120 in the first 6 months of 2021 with 26 partners actively doing surgeries.

Since the start of the pandemic, Smile Train’s speech telehealth program in the Philippines has treated over 200 patients, providing them with more than 1,000 cleft care-related sessions. Recently, the organization launched the country’s first Filipino speech therapy mobile application which serves as a platform for more patients and families born with cleft to continue to receive comprehensive cleft care with minimal disruptions.

For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please visit smiletrain.ph, follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines. The Smile Train Philippines mobile application can be downloaded via Google Play and App Store.

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LG announces improved version of its PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier

The new LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier leverages its VoiceON technology which employs a microphone and a speaker built into the device to clearly project the user’s voice, making communications easier to be heard and understand while wearing the mask.

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LG launched the improved version of its PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, an innovative wearable device designed to improve air quality, the company introduced last year. Worn as a mask, the newest model offers an enhanced performance with its new voice amplification feature, ergonomic design and other features that are recommended for use in the new normal.

“LG has been at work in order to provide meaningful ways of improving the day-to-day of the new normal. The LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier has been the talk of the town for over a year now, and here we are for an even better version. I’m excited to introduce to everyone a new product that’s perfect for the new normal,” said Sungjae Kim, LG Philippines managing director.

The new LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier leverages its VoiceON technology which employs a microphone and a speaker built into the device to clearly project the user’s voice, making communications easier to be heard and understand while wearing the mask.

The latest version of the device is equipped with a fully automatic airflow control system which increases breathing comfort. It also incorporates two H13 HEPA filters, the same filter found and used in premium air purifiers for the home, to ensure the air users breathe is as clean and healthy as possible. Driven by an ultra-small and lightweight motor, the device’s dual fans combined with LG’s airflow control technology detects user’s breathing pattern and adjusts airflow accordingly, helping the user breathes easier and more naturally. This technology prevents a common problem for those wearing glasses and mask at the same time, keeping their lenses from fogging up when exhaling. 

The wearable air purifier is made of medical-grade materials to protect users. Boasts of SafePlus multi-filtration system, the device filters out harmful particles, removes 99.9% of viruses, and provides clean air. Apart from these, the device is energized by a battery that is said to offer up to eight hours of usage at a single charge.

With its new design, the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier offers a subtle yet stylish look and comes in two colors: creamy white and ocean black. To guarantee a better fit for more consumers, the device will be offered in medium and large sizes. Its design also fits and seals to user’s face while minimizes air leakage around the nose and chin. The device should be breathable and right fit for the user.

The LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier is currently available at online stores, Abenson and Electroworld.

Now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease is still very active in the country where daily virus transmission is still increasing in terms of number of cases, wearing a mask is highly recommended, apart from other protocols such as social distancing and hand washing. Dr. Ma. Adelina Sadili, consultant pulmonologist at the Makati Medical Center advises everyone to wear mask to stop the spread of the virus. At the event, Sadili presented a transmission model showing the impact of public mask wearing under the full range of mask adherence and efficacy scenarios.

Sadili explained that “if a COVID-19 carrier does not wear mask, the possibility of transmission to a healthy person wearing a mask is very high, at 70%. But, if the COVID carrier wears a mask and the healthy person doesn’t, the possibility of transmission goes down to only 5%. If both are wearing masks then the possibility of transmission goes further down to 2.5%”.

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Maxicare and Allianz PNB Life partner to create the Hospicash insurance bundle for Maxicare’s HMO plans

While an HMO covers the usual medical expenses, Hospicash enhances the coverage by providing cash benefits to address other expenses in the event of hospitalization. These may include extra spending for medicine, transportation, visitation, and loss of income while hospitalized.

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Photo by @jeshoots from Unsplash.com

Maxicare Healthcare Corporation and Allianz PNB Life collaborated to supplement Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans with an insurance coverage. Maxicare Hospicash, the first of its kind in the Philippines’ HMO market, is a daily hospital cash benefit that will soon be available through Maxicare in partnership with Allianz PNB Life.

While an HMO covers the usual medical expenses, Hospicash enhances the coverage by providing cash benefits to address other expenses in the event of hospitalization. These may include extra spending for medicine, transportation, visitation, and loss of income while hospitalized.

“Everybody knows getting sick doesn’t just stop at footing the hospital bill; there are other expenses that come up too, especially with work and the family,” said Maxicare President and CEO Christian Argos. “Maxicare and Allianz PNB Life understand this concern, hence the partnership between our organizations in offering Maxicare Hospicash.”

“Nobody wants to be hospitalized and this product bundle helps alleviate the hassles and burdens associated with it. While your typical HMO benefits can cover the hospital bill, additional out-of-pocket expenses are often incurred.” said Alexander Grenz, President and CEO of Allianz PNB Life. “Through our partnership with Maxicare, we can provide a more comprehensive solution for hospitalization.”

In addition, Maxicare Hospicash acts as an additional layer of benefit or cash when the maximum benefit limit (MBL) for the HMO plan is used up.

For example, a Maxicare member with Hospicash coverage receives a fixed amount or Daily Hospital Cash Benefit starting at P250 to P5,000 per day while hospitalized. The total is claimable in cash after discharge from the hospital.

Maxicare Hospicash can be bundled with Maxicare’s Corporate and SME plans. Maxicare members can now have Hospicash as part of their HMO. “Maxicare Hospicash further sets apart the Maxicare HMO experience.” added Christian Argos.

“By partnering with a trusted HMO provider like Maxicare, we can provide Filipinos with more security at a time when both health-related expenses and COVID-19 cases are on the rise,” said Allianz PNB Life President and CEO Alexander Grenz.

The strategic partnership is an especially notable one between the leading HMO provider in the Philippines and the no. 1 insurance brand in the world. Maxicare won gold for Best PH Health Insurance in the 2021 Quality Service Awards Asia while Allianz PNB Life remains the country’s fastest growing insurance company in terms of premium income.

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Singlife Philippines offer no-fuss protection through and through

By making filing of claims and securing of payouts possible with just a few taps on a smartphone, customers are immediately relieved of financial hardships caused by high medical costs or sudden income loss.

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Singlife Philippines’ promise of no-fuss protection goes beyond digitizing how customers buy life insurance. By making filing of claims and securing of payouts possible with just a few taps on a smartphone, customers are immediately relieved of financial hardships caused by high medical costs or sudden income loss.

Claims services are just as important as the amount of coverage you get. It is the moment of truth between you and your life insurer, where you get to realize the benefits of the protection you bought. When the unexpected happens, your life insurer needs to be quick to fulfill the promises made to protect you from financial struggles and setbacks. The manual processes, tedious paperwork, and long waiting time should be the least of your worries, especially in a time of crisis.

Since entering the market in October 2020, Singlife Philippines has processed over 600 claims, with policyholders or their dependents getting their benefits almost instantly. These include payouts for COVID-19 test allowances in less than 24 hours, and confinement aids and medical cost reimbursements for severe cases within 3 business days. As an example, a customer who bought Cash for Dengue Costs (with a free COVID-19 cover) for only ₱700 per year received ₱331,500 in total benefits within just 3 days after filing a claim with complete requirements. A very welcome support to pay his hospital bill of ₱356,200.

What’s more, when it comes to its income protection products, Singlife Philippines grants advanced claim payouts worth up to 3 months of the income lost due to disability or death. This helps ensure a steady flow of income for daily needs while the claim is being reviewed. Cash benefits are credited directly to the policyholder or beneficiary’s GCash wallet or nominated bank account for easier, more convenient access to funds.

“The needs of our customers always come first,” said Kame Amado-Gomez, Head of Digital Networks at Singlife Philippines. “This includes providing a faster and more efficient way of filing claims. If you are suddenly faced with an expensive medical bill or an accident that left you physically incapable of earning a living, you can simply open your GCash app to file a claim, submit soft copies of supporting documents, and you will hear from us within 24 hours.”

Singlife Philippines’ use of the smartest technologies allows for claims to be processed in a fraction of the time, thereby getting customers their settlements faster and giving them a better overall experience. Customer service representatives are also available 7 days a week for those who prefer to speak with an officer to support them in every step.

“A disability or loss of a loved one is never easy. The least we can do is make the process of getting the money you need – when you need it most – simple and fuss-free.” 

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