WHILE millions of Filipinos are affected by thyroid disorders, very few are aware of them.
A study by the Philippine Society for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in 2012 showed that one in 11 Filipino adults has goiter, and around one in 12 Filipino adults suffers from some form of thyroid disease. Around 8 in every 1,000 children worldwide are affected by thyroid disease but only a handful get properly diagnosed and treated.
Merck Inc. and ETC 2nd Avenue collaborated for the International Thyroid Awareness Week Celebration by hosting a culminating event called “Catching Butterflies: Spotting the Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders in Children.” The butterfly theme was chosen to represent the thyroid, which is a butterfly-shaped organ found at the base of our necks.
The event was hosted at the Fisher Mall Event center last May 28, 2016 in order to increase the awareness of the thyroid and the disorders that can affect children and adults. This is because if thyroid hormone imbalances are left undiagnosed and untreated, they can have harmful effect on a child’s brain development, growth and physical maturity. The awareness campaign showed that thyroid disorders are treatable with early screening and proper treatment.
The event was not only educational but also fun-filled for everyone who attended. A panel of experts from the Philippines Society for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, the Philippine Thyroid Association, and the Iodine Global Network conducted a talk on how to recognize and treat thyroid disorders.
There were many other activities that both children and parents could enjoy together such as on-the spot art competitions, butterfly face painting, butterfly clay art, dance performances and so much more. Participants posted pictures to their social media accounts using the hashtags #thyroidawareness and #wearebraver.
There are a lot of people who may have thyroid disorders, but aren’t even aware until it is too late. It is important to have one’s thyroid checked as early as possible, especially if there is family history of the disease, or during pregnancy. Prevention, proper information and early detection will always be better than cure that comes too late.