PIA Press Release
Monday, December 05, 2011
by Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY, Dec 5 (PIA) — A two-day training for the members of the broadcast media from Sorsogon dubbed “Accelerating Media’s Role in reducing TB Stigma” was held last week at Hotel Venezia, Legaspi City to beef up media’s role in helping reduce the stigma of persons afflicted with tuberculosis by providing them right information on air.
Andy Espinar, KBP Sorsogon chapter president and station manager of DZMS-AM here, said the training is primarily focused to equip media practitioners an in-depth understanding on how the sector can help eradicate the stigma and fear of this dreaded disease as perceived by the public.
According to Espinar the training they have undergone will make them responsible and well-informed broadcasters specially in explaining that a person afflicted with the disease should develop health-seeking behavior and avoid such incident as the “case of Clarita.”
“Media has a major role to play in reducing the stigma of TB by creating informed awareness on tuberculosis. As broadcasters, let us partner with agencies like World Vision to improve the health situation here in our province,” Espinar also said.
The training program is a partnership project of the World Vision and KBP Sorsogon Chapter.
Meanwhile, World Vision, which has a project of TB case detection and control here said that despite the long fight against TB in Sorsogon City, there remains a stigma that is an obstacle to improve the health seeking behavior of the populace specially people afflicted with this disease based on their findings.
“Clarita Detera, 54, from Brgy. San Pascual here died of TB last June 2011. Her death reminds us that tuberculosis stigma is still rampant despite the absence of research about facts and impact of discrimination and TB stigma in Sorsogon City,” according to Leo Legaspi, Wold Vision Community Development officer.
“Before she was diagnosed, Clarita showed symptoms of TB for more than a year already, according to the midwife who noticed her condition.
The midwife encouraged her to visit the health center but Clarita dismissed the suggestion and said, “ubo lang ito (this is only colds/coughs),” “wala akong TB (I don’t have TB),” “bigyan mo ako ng anti-biotics (just give me antibiotics).”
Over the years, this was how Aling Clarita made excuses to hide her disease until she can no longer bear the pain. That was when she finally submitted her sputum for examination.But it was too late. She died soon after.
Legaspi explained that stigma can be experienced internally (self-stigma) or externally (discrimination). Internal stigma can lead to a person’s unwillingness to seek help or access resources.
He said that external stigma can lead to discrimination based on one’s perception. It can be seen through negative reactions that prejudices seriously to the sick person.
Stigma according to Legaspi as scientifically defined, is the process by which the reaction of others spoil normal identity and this is the usual behavior displayed by persons afflicted by tuberculosis as in the case of Clarita.
Legaspi said that with this challenge, they have to seek the strong assistance of media and their role is to campaign and articulate to the community that TB is a sickness that is curable and reducing stigma of persons afflicted with this disease should be well understood by the person him/her self and develop a health seeking behavior for its cure.
Legaspi said that the two – day training for media have provided them the needed skills and information in their crucial function in reducing TB stigma by creating informed awareness on tuberculosis to the public through broadcast.
“The question that the media asked World Vision on how they can help in our program, is through this training that will enable them to be partners with WV, and by accelerating their role in reducing the stigma of TB.
A total of 18 participants coming from different broadcast outlets attended the said training and committed to start providing the public the right awareness in eradicating the stigma of tuberculosis. (MAL/IAG-PIA Sorsogon)