You don’t have to be Hillary Clinton or Kate Middleton to be in the league of the so-called ‘power wives.’ Filipinas wield power in their own homes by managing the budget or simply making decisions. My definition of a ‘power wife’ is also someone who embraces every opportunity to arm herself with the right knowledge and skills to become a better mother, partner and/or person. There’s nothing complicated about that.
But I do like how the pharma giant GSK has conceptualized the Power Wives Club to beef up its information drive in fighting cervical cancer which causes the second highest cancer deaths among Pinays. This time around, GSK reached out to the wives of the Philippines’ seafarers. The number of these seamen alone, estimated at 400,000, contributed US$5.6 billion to the country’s economy – making them a real force to contend with.
Because they live miles away from each other most of the time, seafarers and their wives need to be properly apprised on the evils of taking health risks and the importance of preventive health care. As a result, GSK brought its ‘Power Over Cervical Cancer’ campaign to the doorsteps of the Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc., one of the Philippines’ largest crew management companies based in Makati City.
It was a very informative Saturday morning that taught the seafarer wives a lot of useful things – from health to beauty!
First, model and make-up artist Mica Tuaño demonstrated to the women how to look glamorous and presentable at the same time through proper make-up application. Incidentally, the session had the bonus of having the presence of another power wife, Suzi Entrata-Abrera.
There was also a session on how to do gift-wrapping which was very apt since the holiday season is here.
We were also able to meet the genial Ms. Normie Hernandez who heads the Family & Crew Relations department of PTC. She supervises these activities which will benefit seafarers’ families like livelihood opportunities, health programs, value formation, personality development, and the like.
And finally, obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Leah Manio gave a short talk on cervical cancer and what it’s all about. It is caused by a deadly strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is not transmitted through sexual intercourse alone, but even through skin-to-skin contact. That’s certainly surprising.
Dr. Manio said the risk factors for acquiring the disease are the following: smoking, early sexual intercourse, multiple sex partners, multiple childbirth, co-infection with HIV and long-term contraceptive use.
As a precaution, none other than the World Health Organization recommends HPV vaccination for young girls aged nine and up, or ideally before they have their first sexual contact. Older women may be immunized if they did not receive their HPV shots at an earlier age and of course, regular screening through pap smears, Dr. Manio said.
For more information, check out the ‘Pangarap Mo, Protektado’ page on Youtube.