Cmdr. Steven Romero hosts a rheumatic heart disease symposium in Tacloban as part of Pacific Partnership. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Karolina A. Oseguera)

TACLOBAN, Philippines - Navy cardiologist Cmdr. Steven Romero hosted a rheumatic heart disease symposium in Tacloban as part of Pacific Partnership 2014 (PP14), July 10.

“We are conducting a symposium for 80 to 100 local doctors, nurses and medical students who have an interest in rheumatic heart disease,” said Romero. “We are trying to setup a control program in the Philippines.”

Rheumatic heart disease is endemic in the host nations of PP14 and is the most common acquired heart disease in children in developing countries where poverty is widespread. The lecture started off with the singing of the Philippine national anthem and a prayer from the attendees.

“The lecture was an overview of the disease,” said Romero. “I hope this helps increase awareness and I want us to share our practices about how to manage patients who have contracted the disease.”

Romero said the outcome of the event was better than he had ever expected it to be.

“There is a very good energy here,” said Romero. “The Philippine doctors are passionate about what they do and I hope this this helps increase efforts in the Philippines for prevention and control. I am excited to see where this goes.”

Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.