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The Father Of Nuclear Medicine In The Philippines



A Medicine graduate of the University of the Philippines, Dr. Paulo C. Campos initiated the construction of the first radioisotope laboratory in the Philippines.

Campos was a Filipino physician and educator noted for his promotion of wider community health care and his achievements in the field of nuclear medicine for which he was dubbed as "The Father of Nuclear Medicine in the Philippines".The first president of the National Academy of Science and Technology, he was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines in 1988.

Campos initiated the construction of the first radioisotope laboratory in the Philippines. With funding provided by the International Atomic Energy Authority and other Philippine institutions,the laboratory was established at the Philippine General Hospital. As a result, it was made possible for the first time in the country to conduct such procedures as the basal metabolism test and radioactive iodine therapy At the clinic, and with funding from the IAEA and later, the World Health Organization, Campos conducted considerable research on goiter, a common medical problem in the Philippines. His team first suggested the injection of iodized oil to goiter patients, a treatment later advocated by the WHO.


Through the thyroid clinic, Campos likewise pursued research on whether there was a genetic factor that contributed to endemic goiter. His findings, as contained in a paper that he published in 1961, proposed that the iodine intake deficiency thought to be the main cause of goiter was just one of the triggering factors of the disease, and that physiology and anatomy proved to be more important considerations as some people were born without the enzyme necessary to take in trace elements such as iodine even if it were present in food and water.

As Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Campos began the practice of fielding medical interns for community service in Los Baños, Laguna for one month a year. In 1963, the program was institutionalized through the organization of the Comprehensive Community Health Program (CCHP), pursuant to an agreement between the University of the Philippines and the Department of Health. The CCHP, which was based in Bay, Laguna, served as a community health center that serviced several towns in Laguna. Until its closure in 1989, it became the community laboratory of the UP College of Medicine, and it was there that Campos conducted testing on the use of iodized oil for the treatment of goiter.

He died at the age of 85 in June 2, 2007.

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