World TB Day 2011: A leap towards a healthy next generation
Committed to a future of happy and healthy populace, the Department of Health DOH) and the Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis (PhilCAT), in partnership with the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) led this year’s World TB Day commemoration at the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City last March 24, 2011.
This year’s theme of “Isulong ang laban sa TB: Malusog na kabataan pag-asa ng bayan” highlights the need to address tuberculosis in children so the next generation can become healthy and productive adults, from whom the future of our country rests.
Health Assistant Secretary Gerardo V. Bayugo, in his keynote speech emphasized that only children who are healthy and free from the wrath of TB could be considered the ‘hope our country’. Thus, in line with this year’s theme, he enjoined everyone to do their share in ensuring that children, who are considered the most vulnerable to the disease, are safeguarded against it through early diagnosis and immediate treatment.
The World TB Day was celebrated with both triumph and hope, as shown by the activities that ensued. For one, the Munting Kamay CDC’s opening number pumped up the festivities with their meaningful portrayal of the young generation’s dreams and hope for a better tomorrow through songs, dances and poems.
The remarks of the guests of honor meanwhile were nothing short of inspiring and momentous. Col. Joselito P. Avanceña, Commanding General of the AFP Medical Center welcomed everyone to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, an institution committed to hasten the fight against TB. The AFP’s hosting of this year’s World TB Day was both very timely and relevant, as they just passed the accreditation of their TB DOTS center. This, for Col. Avanceña is just some of the efforts of the AFP in institutionalizing the fight against TB.
PhilCAT’s National Chairperson Dr. Vincent M. Balanag, Jr, in his Opening Remarks acknowledged the important role of children and young people in TB control. For him, TB not only affects the present health of children, it also affects their future health and long-term role in society. Thus, he called on everyone to stay committed and responsible to really make a difference. Dr. Balanag likewise recognized the pioneering efforts of key organizations in treating TB in children. In parting, he inspired everyone to reinvigorate their energies and strengthen their ties with one another in the continued fight against TB.
Dr. Woojin Lew, Medical Officer of the Stop TB Partnership meanwhile appealed to help in finding the missing TB cases as the National TB control Program is now pursuing case detection rate (CDR) not just for new smear positive PTB but for all forms of TB. To fill this gap, Dr. Lew advised the development of new and innovative ways of reaching those unidentified TB cases; and adopting new methods to reduce diagnostic delays and subsequent treatment. These for Dr. Lew are the ways towards TB elimination.
Colonel Reynaldo Ireneo Lipat, Jr, Surgeon General of AFP posited that the fight against TB is indeed an important component of their social responsibility as soldiers. He assured everyone that AFP is solidly behind the battle, and thanked everyone for the meaningful partnership.
WTBD 2011 Keynote Speaker, Assistant Secretary Gerardo V. Bayugo acknowledged the need to address TB in children. Thus, he elaborated on the efforts of the DOH in ensuring early diagnosis and treatment of TB. He expressed his deepest appreciation to everyone for their partnership and called on each and every one of them to do everything, especially on TB in children.
After a series of inspirational talks, the true beneficiaries of the World TB Day took center stage as they engaged in a friendly dance competition with other organizations involved in TB in children. In the end, The AFPMC Day Care Center bagged the championship for the slogan cheer dance competition.
Other guests who graced the celebration were TV personality Ruby Rodriguez, who hosted the event alongside PhilCAT Board Member Dr. Jose Hesron D. Morfe; the Cercado Sisters (Grand Champion in the 2006 World Championship for Performing Arts); the AFP Combo; and the Learning Tree Angklung Ensemble.
With the leadership of Dr. Salvacion R. Gatchalian, and with the presence of thousands of TB warriors from all sectors of society, the World TB Day commemoration has indeed become an important step towards a healthy next generation.
Kindly click the PHOTO GALLERY section for the WTBD 2011 photos.