|VYLH-Philippines National President|
Christian Emmanuel Enriquez
(Photo: VMendoza/NSRC-NIH,UP Manila)
Last October 6-7, 2015, the 13th Newborn Screening Convention was held at the Manila Hotel. The event was participated by over a thousand attendees from the medical and allied professions all over the Philippines. This year’s theme is Enhancing Newborn Care, Nurturing Minds, Brightening the Future and Saving more lives.
I was given the privilege to speak in behalf of the youth through our network, Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Philippines. An allotted time of 30 minutes was given to me to deliver an important message, "What is the Role of the Youth in Health Issues?" which I explained further by answering the following WHAT questions through acronyms.
What does the youth have?
Ang Kabataang Pinoy ay EPIC A+
(Energy, Passion, Innovative Ideas, Creativity, Access)
What can the youth do?
Ang kabatang pinoy ay hindi kailangan ma-HIA
(Health Education, Influence and Involvement, Awareness and Advocacy)
What is the impact?
Ang kabataang Pinoy ay IBAH
(Informed Society, Better Health Choices, Active Participation, Healthier Philippines)
The opportunity to talk for the youth was a memorable experience which made me realize that when the youth is given the chance to speak their ideas on a platform welcomed and acknowledged by the society, it can bring positive change towards their outlook on health - the youth not just being a recipient of health care services but prime movers and active partners of the government.
"Youth empowerment is not about blindly guiding the youth to follow what we have in store for them rather giving them the chance to share their insights, be heard and allowed to participate in the battles they will face in the future."
Knowing that our predecessors acknowledge the need of active youth involvement on health programs and endeavors for a healthier Philippines is truly inspiring.
I concluded my speech with a quote saying "He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything to succeed. If we believe that the youth is our hope, and we want them to succeed we should invest on them and get them involved as it is their future we are fighting for."
Christian Emmanuel P. Enriquez, RN. MAN
VYLH-Philippines National President
VYLH-Philippines extends its deepest gratitude to the organizers of the 13th Newborn Screening Convention - The Newborn Screening Society of the Philippines, and Newborn Screening Reference Center (NSRC)-NIH, UP Manila, for the opportunity to convey the advocacy of the network and the role of the youth in health.