Radio health education in Mindanao

By Sherwin Pontanilla, M.D.

For 30 minutes every weekday morning, residents of Upi and neighboring towns in Maguindanao can tune in to DXUP-FM 105.5 MHz to learn about illnesses and proper healthcare.

During the first episode of the 16-part “Gabay Kalusugan–Kalusugan N’yo, Toka N’yo ‘To!” (Guide to Health—Your Health, Your Responsibility) program, discussions centered on what it actually means to be healthy and how investing in one’s own health brings tremendous benefits in the long run. It aired last January 16 at the 7 to 7:30 a.m. timeslot and also talked about how every person can both be a part of the problem and solution to different health issues.

The radio program is part of the Health Education Advocacy on Radio (HEAR) program which is an offshoot of the collaboration between the Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development (FIT-ED) and the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF). Its aim is to educate the general public about common health issues, good quality healthcare, proper maternal and child care, infectious diseases and lifestyle diseases.

Succeeding episodes that have aired focused on generic drug’s similar potency with branded medicines;role of the people in improving health service delivery;importance of health insurance; and overview of what and how to avoid infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and dengue as well as what to do once infected.

Recorded in Tagalog, the program airs Monday to Friday and will run until February 6. The radio broadcast can also be heard in some parts of the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. It can also be heard via live streaming at or at

Visayan version of the program is also available. In the town of Bongao (Tawi-Tawi), a ZFF partner-municipality like Upi, talks are ongoing to air the same program in Tausug.