A PUBLIC health-centered digital publication launched by two Thomasians won first prize in a social journalism contest organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Foundation.

The publication, named “Juan Health PH,” topped the 2nd Asean Youth Social Journalism (AYSJ) contest.

It was initiated by medical technology seniors Maria Rosario Isabel Seares and Jefson Romeo Felix to offer “fresh, accurate accessible information” on public health across different social media platforms.

Seares said the publication aimed to combat fake news on social media regarding health issues, including conspiracy theories, false claims and disinformation.

Here in the Philippines, we all know that misinformation and disinformation are both rampant, mainly because of a lack of proper health education and the proliferation of conspiracy theories online. While we aim to combat health illiteracy, we thought of making the content easily comprehensible to the masses by means of translating bite-sized information into regional languages,” Sears told the Varsitarian.

Aside from English and Filipino content, the publication releases news updates in Bisaya, Ilokano and other regional languages.

Felix and Seares are former and current editors in chief of Purple Gazette, the publication of the Faculty of Pharmacy. 

They said they recruited their writers from the publication to serve as Juan Health PH’s executive board members. 

“With the Covid-19 pandemic plaguing Filipino communities, threatening the public health and a lot of sectors, we, as medical technology students wanted to render our service to our fellowmen by first doing what we know we are capable of doing—health information and journalism,” Felix told the Varsitarian. 

Entries in the journalism contest were evaluated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foundation’s technical committee through their posts, frequency of publication, diversity of content format and audience engagement.

AYSJ was organized by the Asean Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the Embassy of Ireland. Christine Joyce Paras 


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.