Ieran Chris Perez
I am a pharmacy student from the University of the Philippines and apart from being a health-science student, I make sure to engage myself in advocacies promoting public health and education.
I also do a lot of volunteer works to help address today’s ongoing public health concerns as I believe that it should be given the utmost priority. I believe that by taking part in all of these things, I can help the world achieve health equity and quality health care in my own little ways which I consider as my personal noble goal.
What inspired you to enter the World NTD Day Story telling competition?
The inspiration behind my reason on why I joined the World NTD Day Story telling competition is my goal to be heard and to raise awareness. The words “neglected” and “diseases” are not fit to be together in any time and way. I thought that with this competition, my story can inspire other people to promote awareness regarding these diseases and slowly, we will accumulate enough people to initiate change and progress. Most importantly, I believe that by joining this competition, I helped the world take a single step towards ending the neglect of tropical diseases.
Why does fighting NTDs matter to you?
I live in a tropical country which undeniably suffers from these neglected tropical diseases from time to time. There are times that my country experienced outbreaks and epidemics that can be associated with the country’s poor health system. With this, I first-handedly saw friends and family dying because of these diseases. Fighting NTDs is a fight for life. Every human being has the right for a chance to live and by combatting NTDs, we’re giving them that chance that they deserve. This is why fighting NTDs matters to me.
How do you intend on continuing the fight against NTDs after this competition?
After this competition, I will devote my service to organizations fighting NTDs including Youth Combatting NTDs. As I am also part of various organizations promoting general public health, I will also promote raising awareness regarding neglected tropical diseases using our platform. More importantly, I will do my best to inspire others to fight against the neglect to create a ripple of change towards quality health.
What would be your request to your country’s leaders regarding fighting NTDs?
I would humbly ask my country’s leaders to take matters under neglected tropical diseases seriously. It will be great if there are projects, programs, and campaigns centered on fighting neglected tropical diseases. If possible, a new agency under the Department of Health focused on fighting NTDs shall be made. Educating the public regarding this will also be a huge help in combating NTDs so it will be beneficial to involve the Local Government Units in the programs and projects supervised by the National Government. It is true that we are facing more crucial health issues nowadays including the COVID-19 pandemic, but we should not continue neglecting these tropical diseases. To my country’s leaders, let us remember that an effective system may address present health concerns without neglecting other issues – in this case, NTDs.