by Iya de Claro (Class 2024)
Cover photo courtesy of the Mu Sigma Phi Sorority
During these trying times, it may be hard to cope with what is currently happening. Teenagers, a very vulnerable population, may have a lot of questions about how to deal with the changes in our society brought about by the pandemic. Health awareness among adolescents has become more and more important in our communities, and it is definitely an important aspect of our society to tackle.
PHOTO: Poster for TEEN Sine GaMUtan: Championing the Community
Mu Sigma Phi Sorority’s latest webinar, the third installment of Sine GaMUtan, explored matters relevant to teenagers during this COVID-19 Pandemic, like mental health, teenage pregnancy, and vaccination. A project under TEEN: Teenage Health Education for an Empowered Nation, the theme of the event was “Championing the Community.” It was held from 10 to 11:30 AM on August 26, 2021, and was filled with three short but powerful talks on a variety of topics, moderated by Dr. Zie Verzosa-Buchanan and Rona Villas. Sine GaMUtan was held on Zoom, as well as livestreamed on the MU HEALs Facebook page and YouTube channel.
The event kicked off with “Usap Tayo: Kumusta Ka Ngayong Pandemya?,” a talk on Teenage Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic. The very insightful discussion was led by Dr. Gladdy Maura G. Facun, an obstetrician-gynecologist and diplomate of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS). People’s, especially adolescents’, mental health has definitely taken a hit during this pandemic, and to have had it discussed in a way so informative and engaging was definitely a great asset to the program.
This was followed by the next talk, “Ang Batang Ina,” which touched on teenage pregnancy. It was led by Dr. Maria Geraldine N. Castillo-Torralba, a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and Training Officer under the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). It was an enlightening discussion, as it was able to open up a taboo topic to the public and provide information to teenagers and adults regarding the matter at hand.
The last talk, “Bakuna para sa Kabataan Ngayong Pandemya,” tackled the importance of vaccination in teenagers during the pandemic. Dr. Regina B. Pascua-Berba, an Infectious Diseases Specialist, Division Chief of the Division of Adult Medicine under the Department of Medicine in PGH, and Chair of the Hospital Infection Control Unit of PGH, discussed the topic so eloquently. Vaccination for COVID-19 has only been opened up to teenagers across the Philippines very recently, so uncertainties and doubts are definitely present. Other vaccines for teenagers, such as HPV, were also discussed. Dr. Pascua-Berba’s talk definitely cleared any misunderstandings and issues that teenagers and their parents might have had regarding vaccination.
PHOTO: Speakers and moderators of the webinar with Ron Villas (Class 2024)
Overall, the event was definitely successful in achieving its goal of informing adolescents on topics relevant to them, especially those during the pandemic. The webinar was filled with insight and wisdom, thanks to the esteemed speakers.
If you missed the webinar and wish to view it, you may view it in the links below: