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UNP holds awareness drive to fight COVID-19 misinformation

VIGAN CITY — As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) is taking measures to ensure its students and employees minimize the risk of the virus.

The College of Medicine in UNP, together with the Future Physicians’ Circle (FPC)— the official student organization of the said college, spearheaded a Lay Forum on Monday, March 2 to discuss about COVID-19 with students from various colleges in the university.

Doctor Glenda Tagorda, dean of the College of Medicine, said that as members of the Ilocos Sur Medical Society, they’ve been highly committed in dealing with the infection.

“Ever since, we have already been introducing and lecturing on universal precautions not just for the COVID-19. Kasi ang universal precautions naman is proper hand washing, cough etiquette, but this time it was only emphasized because of the emergence of the disease and as medical practitioners, of course it is our responsibility to inform the public,” she said.

History of the COVID-19, updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), proper hand washing, proper cough etiquette, things to do and not to do when a sick person is around, and other gentle reminders on how to prevent the spread of the virus were discussed during the forum.

“The main objective of this activity is for the students, the faculty and everyone to be able to be reminded of how we can prevent the transmission of the already epidemic COVID-19. Kaya nag-conduct tayo ng Lay Forum, especially for non-medical students, kasi simple lang naman ang pag-contain ng virus. It’s just more of the precaution of hand washing before eating, after coming from the bathroom, and after touching dirty things, simpleng measures like these ay malaking epekto na sa pag-contain ng infectious diseases katulad ng COVID-19,” Dr. Tagorda added.

Pamphlets on health advisories from the Department of Health (DOH) against infectious diseases were also distributed to the participants.

The W-U-H-A-N, which means: W-Wash your hands properly, U-Use face masks properly, H-Have your temperature checked regularly, A-Avoid large crowds, and N-Never touch your face with dirty hands, was also reiterated to the participants.

Over 200 participants demonstrated the proper hand washing while singing the entire “Happy Birthday” song twice to make sure they wash their hands thoroughly.

Jaoro Wayne Tablac, second year Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science student, thanked the lecturers, specifically the College of Medicine and the FPC for the activity.

He said, “Madami kaming natutunan and I think nabigay nila ‘yong mga kailangan naming malaman para ma-prevent ang COVID-19 and para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng sakit.”

“As an officer of the student organization ng course namin, we’ve been conducting information dissemination on various diseases such as AIDS and syphilis and now we also plan on conducting information dissemination on the prevention of COVID-19 in partnership din sa College of Medicine hopefully sa extension program ng organization namin,” Tablac added.

In order to keep the students and employees safe and healthy, Doctor Luz Velasco, assistant dean of the College of Medicine, said that they have requested the purchase of thermal scanners for students and employees in the university as it is necessary in risky situation like this.

Moreover, another lay forum on COVID-19 will be conducted for the faculty and employees of the university any day this month. ●