A team of nursing students from Iloilo bagged the Grand Prize Award in the first national run of Unilab Ideas Positive on its third year. Team W.A.Y.A.’s “Tahong For Life” project reduced the cases of diarrhea due to mishandling of tahong shells at Sitio Pang-pang, Dumangas, Iloilo City. W.A.Y.A. stands for Women and Men of Achievements and Youth Advocates. Joining them in the photo are: Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Executive Director of Unilab Foundation Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi (extreme left), Assistant Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Communications Director of Unilab Foundation Jose Antonio Mapa (third from right) and Unilab Ideas Positive Project Lead Barry Barrientos (extreme right); and panelist and former dean of the College of Social Work and Community Development in UP Dr. Angelito Manalili (second from right).
ILONGGO YOUTH TEAM SOLVES DIARRHEAL CASES WITH SOCIAL MARKETING PROJECT; EMERGES AS UNILAB IDEAS POSITIVE FIRST NATIONAL GRAND WINNER
A group of nursing students from West Visayas State University in Iloilo called Team WAYA was named the first national grand prize winner of Unilab Ideas Positive, a nationwide social marketing competition for college students that enables them to address health and wellness concerns in communities.
Team WAYA was named the winner after successfully bringing down the incidence of diarrheal diseases in Sitio Pang-pang in Dumangas, Iloilo from 75 cases when they started in May 2012 to zero incidence in the first quarter of 2013, after completing the implementation of their social marketing project called “Tahong for Life.”
“Tahong for Life” focused on proper hygiene and sanitation practices for families engaged in “pagtatala” or mussel deshelling, which is the main livelihood of families in the sitio. Mishandling of the mussels was identified as one of the causes of diarrheal diseases in the area.
Not only did the team teach residents proper food handling practices, but they also built four deshelling centers made of nipa hut and provided residents with sanitary equipment like hair nets and aprons to reinforce the proper sanitary behavior.
They also successfully mobilized the community to practice Bayanihan spirit through a series of cleanup drives that transformed the community from a smelly and filthy repository of mussel shells into a clean community complete with concrete pathways made from crushed mussel shells mixed with sand and cement.
Team WAYA used the P100,000 seed money from Unilab to implement their social marketing project. They are one of 12 teams chosen nationwide by Unilab to receive training on social marketing, as well as seed money to help them turn their idea into actual solutions for communities.
The winning team is composed of Charibel de Pedro, Michael dela Peña, Alfred Dicto, Hanna Dolduco, and Rexell Ela. They took home P60, 000 in cash, individual medals, and a team trophy. They will also be attending a social marketing training courtesy of Unilab.
The runner up winner is a team from University of the Philippines Visayas called Kabataang Katipuneros who successfully treated the malnourished children in Bgy. La Paz in Guimaras through their multi-factorial health and nutrition project. As a result, Bgy. La Paz lowered its rank from the number one barangay with most number of malnourished children to number 20 in the whole of Guimaras.
The other runner up winner is a youth team from University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao called Team Green Label who also successfully treated malnourished children in a public elementary school by turning an idle lot into an organic vegetable garden that became the source of food for the school’s feeding program. They also taught proper sanitation practices to children and integrated a health and sanitation teaching module in the school’s curriculum.
“Unilab Ideas Positive is about positive ideas and positive outcomes. The winning teams are living examples of how small youth teams with big ideas can make a long-lasting, sustainable difference in local communities. Their creativity, resourcefulness, passion and energy inspire all of us. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with them, enabling them to turn their ideas into reality, working towards a healthier Philippines, one community at a time,” said Unilab Foundation Executive Director Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi.
Palomar-Fresnedi sat in the Board of Judges together with Human Heart Nature founder Anna Meloto-Wilk, Hapinoy founder Mark Ruiz, former dean of UP College of Social Work and Development Dr. Angelito Manalili, UP Manila public health professor Gayline Manalang Jr., and Undersecretary for Presidential Communications Office and Head of Philippine Information Agency Mari Oquinena.
More updates on the completed projects of the 12 youth groups can be seen in Facebook.com/ UnilabIdeasPositive. To date, Unilab has reached out to 20 communities in three years to make a positive, healthy change happen through the youth of Unilab Ideas Positive.
Visit our website at www.unilabideaspositive.com. For live and frequent updates about the teams and the program, subscribe to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/UnilabIdeasPositive or follow us on Twitter at @ideaspositive.