DAGUPAN CITY – The Pangasinan Medical Society (PMS) and the Local Government Unit of Dagupan City, through the City Health Office (CHO), conducted a one-day seminar on Adolescent Health Care at the city museum on November 25, attended by 45 barangay nurses as well as midwives and physicians at the CHO in charge of addressing the concerns of teenagers in the city.


The seminar, only the first for the nurses in Dagupan, was intended for all health care providers as they are the first persons who are in contact with the teenagers while doing field work according to Dr. Hilarion H. Maramba, PMS president.


“This seminar dealt on the updates of the Adolescent Job Aid Manual in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Society on Adolescent Medicine and the Pangasinan Medical Society,” said Maramba.


During the seminar, PMS focused on the general, mental, sexual and reproductive health concerns of teenagers including the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Maramba admitted that while the government gives importance to the health of pregnant mothers, the elders and the children, less attention is being given to the teenagers under the 10 to 19 years of age bracket.


“Problemado tayo sa mga teenagers kasi sila yung hindi natin nabibigyan ng focus. Hindi natin nakikita kung ano ang problema nila, kung ano ang dinaramdam nila. Ito yung seminar na sasagot doon sa mga gusto nating malaman about teenagers,” said Maramba.


The topics of the seminar also included teenage pregnancy, peer pressure, bullying, depression that affects their behavior, puberty-related conditions, sexual maturity, school performance, anxiety, alcohol use, substance use and abuse, smoking and tobacco use, physical and sexual abuse, violence, and nutritional concerns among others.


“The seminar also discussed the different activities of the teenagers inside and outside their homes,” added Maramba.


The nurses were also updated on psycho-social screening to equip them enough to detect whether their subject is undergoing a teenage crisis or not.


“This seminar is one of the five things on how to reach out to our teenagers,” said Maramba as he advised teenagers to stay in school, not to go on drugs and learn to say ‘NO’ when not ready.


The city, on the other hand, has been addressing these concerns.


Mayor Belen T. Fernandez launched the city’s own anti-bullying hotline, anti-drug hotline and violence against women and children hotline.


On top of this, the city has already extended assistance to a number of teenagers suffering personal and other related problems. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Nov. 25, 2016)