By Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce

Amid worsening air pollution problem in Metro Manila, heart specialists from the Manila Medical Center (ManilaMed) are planning to appeal to the Department of Health (DOH) to make masks as accessible to the public as condoms.

“I-lobby natin sa gobyerno na mag-provide sila ng masks gaya ng condoms,” Dr. Jorge Sison, chairman of cardiology at the ManilaMed, said during round table discussion yesterday afternoon.

Speaking in behalf of fellow cardiologists at ManilaMed, Sison disclosed that the level of air pollution in Metro Manila continues to pose risks for its residents, especially those with heart conditions.

“We see a lot of cardiovascular diseases in major cities. If you talk about ManilaMed, you see a lot of cardiovascular patients. Every day, in and out, you see people with stroke coming in, high blood pressure,” he noted.

The heart specialists believe that wearing mask may be the best solution for now until such time that air pollutants are reduced to safer levels.

“The immediate solution is to wear masks in areas where pollution is visibly,” Sison said.

A study by the Philippine Heart Association showed that more people from urban areas have been seeking medical attention for different heart ailments, which have been linked to polluted air.

This news originally appeared here.