Last June 28, 2018, Coffeebot Solutions’ Operations Director, Jessica Madrazo, attended and spoke at the launching of SoMe4AYRH: A Social Media Supplementation which was held in Robinsons Place Butuan, Butuan City.
#SoMe4AYRH is the brainchild of USAID and JPHIEGO and is being implemented in Butuan City by the Agusan del Norte sector of the Department of Health, Commission of Population, Department of Education, and the Agusan del Norte Provincial Hospital. It is a social media campaign that aims to better educate the youth on sex and reproductive health. It will also launch in other locations in the months to come.
Teenage pregnancy is a growing problem in the Philippines, with three regions in Mindanao having the highest birth rates for teenagers. In a recent survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority, 1 in 10 girls aged 15-19 are mothers.
Aside from this, STD rates have risen drastically in the past ten years. The Department of Health reported on February 2018 that there were 11,103 official cases of HIV in the country last year. In 2007, there were only 342 HIV cases reported.
Some of the main factors that led to this dilemma include the lack of proper education on reproductive health and the stigma that surrounds the use of contraceptives. Another is the mandate in RA 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act stating that minors must have parental consent before taking HIV tests. However, with premarital sex especially among teenagers being a huge taboo, only a handful of the youth are willing to approach their families on this problem.
To remedy this, campaigns were organized to raise awareness and provide the younger generation with a way to seek out professionals for help or information. One such project was SoMe4AYRH. Since many of the younger generation are very active on social media platforms such as Facebook, using these channels to reach out to them was a good move by the departments.
One of the personalities invited to the launching was Miss Madrazo. She was asked to speak the young people, doctors, and teachers present on responsible social media use.
Preparing for the talk was a challenge at first, she admitted.
“How do I make a group of young people, uncomfortable with talking about reproductive health and sex, actually take an active role in educating their peers?”, asks the operations director.
However, Madrazo found a way, she says, by “removing all presumptions, the divide between generations, and ask for a clean slate instead…a place we can all walk together.”
Social media is still evolving, and we needed to find commonalities where it could connect us all. We have to remove the notion that doing this and that is stupid, because after all, we’re discovering its full potential together.”
Running a digital marketing firm based in Davao City is not the only thing Miss Madrazo does. Aside from being an active member in organizations such as Dakila Davao and The Climate Reality Project, she is a social media consultant and travels to various regions in the Philippines , training entrepreneurs on how to build and promote their businesses through the internet–be it through social media, e-commerce websites, and more.
As a social media expert here in the Philippines, Madrazo states, it only right to give back to the community and help fellow Filipinos improve their way of life by teaching them how use the internet for the better.
As part of her advocacy, Madrazo produced a video to raise awareness on reproductive health. You can watch it here: