About 30 youth leaders from the provinces of Tarlac and Zambales have committed to do their share in the fight to end Tuberculosis (TB) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pledge was made during the Kilos Kabataan Kontra TB at COVID-19 Virtual Forum organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development’s TB Platforms Project (USAID’s TB Platforms) and Army 3rdMechanized Infantry Battalion (3rd Mech). Attendees include alumni of the Youth Leadership Summit of 3rd Mech and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials.
In his message, PIA Regional Director William Beltran said that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiatives in ending TB pursues.
“It’s been over a year that our efforts on the part of the government have been very much focused on COVID-19 and while our government is preoccupied with responding to this immediate concern, we also do a lot of parallel efforts to not neglect other health concerns like TB,” Beltran said.
He underscored that communication is imperative towards building the trust of people in the government.
“We need to make our people not just informed but also empowered to have for themselves a sense of safety whether that be in COVID-19, in TB, or in mental health,” he stressed.
Likewise, he advised the youth to use their platform to their advantage.
“Use your social media or any other platforms you have to empower other people through information and when I say information, information that are accurate, timely, relevant to the present times, and most especially information that could save other people’s lives,” he added.
For her part, USAID’s TB Platforms Field Operations Manager for Central Luzon Rhodora Cruz said TB still persist as a significant health problem in the Philippines and the burden remains high among Filipinos.
“The primary goal of USAID’s TB Platforms is to increase TB and drug-resistant TB Case detection and treatment success rates by strengthening essential interventions at the regional, local government and community levels,” she noted.
“We strongly believe that ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development,” she furthered.
USAID’s TB Platforms funds several projects of local government units concerning testing, detecting, and treating TB in communities.
In response, youth attendees pitched projects they can implement.
Ian San Pedro recognized the role of elected SK officials like him in partaking on projects as micro effort contributing to a macro effect in their respective communities.
“With this forum, we understood that we should be the fountain of correct information in our community to ease the situation we currently have and to fight diseases threatening our health system like TB and COVID-19,” he said.