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DOH 4A’s ’T.E.E.NDig Centers’ to address teens’ health issues

ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal (PIA) – The Department of Health Region 4-A (CALABARZON) is working with the Department of Education (DepEd) 4-A to address various health issues among teens by strengthening the youth’s access to the region’s healthcare referral network.

Last March 20, the DOH IV-A and the DepEd 4-A launched the T.E.E.NDig Center in Antipolo National High School as part of the “T.E.E.NDig Kabataan! Kalusugan ay Pahalagahan” project which aims to address the teens’ physical, sexual, and mental health needs.

“In this project, we partnered with DepEd and the local chief executives to engage the youth to be health advocates by strengthening their psychosocial and mental well-being,” DOH 4-A Regional Director Ariel Valencia said.

Valencia said the T.E.E.N.Dig Project augments the Education Department’s Teen Health Kiosk Project, which helps equip schools to provide on-site health services to students.

The T.E.E.NDig Center will provide comprehensive health screening, complete with various health devices such as mechanical bed, BP apparatus, glucometer, nebulizer, oxygen concentrator, pulse oximeter, stethoscope, and thermometer.

It will also provide various health services such as general health assessment history and physical exam, healthy lifestyle counseling, substance abuse counseling, cancer prevention counseling, psychosocial risk assessment and management, and reproductive health assessment and counseling.

According to DOH 4-A, the Antipolo National High School is among the pilot schools in the 31 congressional districts region where T.E.E.NDig Centers will be created to ensure that every adolescent has equal access to the government’s health programs.

Each T.E.E.NDing Center will deliver health services under the national HIV, AIDS, and STI prevention and control, adolescent reproductive health, national aedes-borne viral disease prevention and control, national tuberculosis control, and food and waterborne disease prevention and control.

Pandemic effect on teen health
The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted mental and sexual health as one of the unseen issues among adolescents.

In Calabarzon, Antipolo City logged the highest teen pregnancy rate in 2022, with 1,508 cases. It is followed by Rodriguez (701 cases), Biñan City (651), Dasmariñas City (574), and Sta. Cruz, Laguna (542).

Meanwhile, a 2021 DOH report showed that 3 percent of adolescents aged 15 to 19 were diagnosed with HIV, while 0.8 percent contracted syphilis acquired from male-to-male sexual contact.

Youngsters also face various mental health issues exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. DOH data show that in 2021, around 11.6 percent of Filipino adolescents aged 15 to 19 had suicidal thoughts, while 5.8 percent committed suicide. Meanwhile, 18. 4 percent of this age group reported having experienced physical violence. (PB with reports from DOH 4-A)

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