Kapampangan youth joins fight vs TB, COVID-19

About 40 Kapampangan youth leaders composed of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials and student council officers pledged to be advocates in the fight against Tuberculosis (TB) and COVID-19.

The commitment was made during a Virtual Youth Forum co-organized by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) TB Platforms in partnership with SK Federation of Pampanga, and The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Region 3 Alumni Community of Heroes (TOSP R3ACH). 

PIA Regional Director William Beltran commended the youth sector for their engagement and participation in aiding the government’s pandemic response through the use of various social media platforms.

“Let’s act in our own, simple, small ways, and that would be a big help already. The size, and the magnitude of the help and assistance you are providing to other people in times of crises doesn’t matter, because what matters most is that when we combine all of these efforts from the young sector, we could be a big help not just for our government but for our society in general,” he said.

He challenged the young leaders to assess what they could offer to other people, and offer those with sincere solidarity, sympathetic support, and inclusivity.

For her part, USAID’s TB Platforms Social and Behavior Change Communication Specialist Diwata Paredes said the youth plays an essential role in promoting the #EndTB advocacy, raising public awareness, and campaigning positive health-seeking behavior for the disease.

“I am sure that we are all aware of the power of social media, that is why we want to engage our youth. Just using their respective positions, and having their social media accounts, they could help us disseminate the correct information on TB, and support our activities,” she said

The organization highlighted that as TB warriors, leaders could contribute towards TB elimination by creating relevant projects and programs, and applying and sharing the infection prevention and control measures against the illness.

In response, Provincial Board Member and SK Federation of Pampanga President Moshe Lacson suggested that within their organizations or councils, Kapampangan youth leaders could spread the difference in the symptoms of TB and COVID-19, and gather a database for suspected TB patients to aid them.

“Millions of Filipinos are still facing the wrath of TB and COVID-19 as these diseases are not only clinical, but also systemic and institutional problems. Some reasons why these problems continue to exist and remain unsolved could be weak leadership or governance, lack of health information dissemination and financing, poor service delivery, and inadequate human resources,” he said.

Lacson urged his fellow youth to ask themselves how they could assist in eradicating TB and COVID-19, and in turn realize that they do not need to become anybody to fight these diseases, to help the health system, or to demand for a better health response.

Relative to this, TOSP R3ACH Chairperson Jasmin Tan advised that attendees could do their part in TB and Covid-19 elimination by striving for continuous learning to heighten their concern and compassion for the community.

“It’s true that we are limited compared to before, but it doesn’t mean that we should stop advocating for the things important to us. It doesn’t mean that we should stop fighting for the things we care about,” Tan said. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)

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