DOH, NYC, UNICEF, and Y-PEER celebrate youth-led solutions on COVID-19 vaccination
PASIG CITY, 23 June 2023 – Ten youth organizations across the Philippines are playing their part in solving the vaccination challenge in the Philippines, reaching 1.3 million people, including more than 200,000 vaccine-eligible individuals, with important messages on immunization. The Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with UNICEF Philippines, National Youth Commission (NYC), and Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) Pilipinas recognized the contributions of these young people in a youth fair in Pasig City.
The #KaBayanihan Youth Challenge supported by USAID asked youth-led organizations to help local governments with COVID-19 and routine vaccinations for children. Young people from Cavite, Sorsogon, Western Samar, Basilan, Negros Oriental, Davao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, South Cotabato, and Antique banded together to support local officials, health workers and their fellow youth.
“Today, we showcase the different grassroots collaborations of local government units and youth partner organizations founded through the #KaBayanihan Youth Challenge, which have helped achieve great strides in protecting their various communities against COVID-19 and vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Teodoro “Teddy” Herbosa.
The two-day activity showcased the innovative actions and meaningful contributions of the participating youth organizations and their local government partners in increasing vaccine demand and uptake in their communities, especially among the elderly, children and adolescents, indigenous peoples communities, and other vulnerable groups.
They were supported by mentors from DOH, NYC, UNICEF, and Y-PEER to innovate and localize strategies on vaccination promotion in their communities. Young people designed and conducted awareness-raising activities through film, community theater, social media, immunization caravans, and child-friendly materials such as storybooks.
“Through the #Kabayanihan youth challenge, young people were able to exercise their right to participate and make meaningful contributions to COVID-19 vaccination and childhood immunization in their communities”, said UNICEF Deputy Representative Behzad Noubary.
With the success of the program, young people have committed to continue support activities tackling routine immunization, adolescent sexual reproductive health, and mental health and psychosocial support in their communities.
“As identified in the Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP), health is one area of participation where the youth can gainfully engage in. Hence, the #KaBayanihan Youth Challenge is a remarkable platform to realize this aspiration. We commend these youth organizations for playing a vital role in influencing and inspiring their fellow youth and other citizens in their communities to develop healthy-seeking behavior, with the support of their local government units,” said NYC’s Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.