Thyroid disorders affect millions of Filipinos, yet very few are aware of them. One in 11 Filipino adults has goiter, and around one in 12 Filipino adults suffers from some form of thyroid disease. It is estimated that eight out of every 1000 children worldwide are affected by thyroid disease.
Awareness should never be overlooked because it could save someone’s life and help so many other people in the process. The International Thyroid Awareness Week (ITAW) is the perfect opportunity to learn more about how the thyroid gland and the thyroid disorders that affect one’s metabolism.
Not a lot of people know how important the thyroid is when it comes to growth and development. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped organ in the neck, and produces thyroid hormone. If something is wrong with the thyroid, it can result to hormonal imbalances that if undiagnosed and left untreated, can have a harmful effect on brain development, growth, puberty and well-being. The ITAW’s objective is to help mothers and pregnant women spot the signs and symptoms early so they can be cured treated and children can then live normal and healthy lives afterwards.
The theme of the week-long event is known as “Catching Butterflies: Spotting the Symptoms of Thyroid Disorders in Children.” The event will have two colorful mascots representing the two different thyroid disorders.
HYPO, the green-blue, slow and sluggish butterfly represents hypothyroidism; and HYPER, the pink, thin and overly active butterfly represents hyperthyroidism. Apart from being very colorful, the two mascots show how thyroid disease can affect children’s minds, bodies and metabolism.
The use of the HYPO and HYPER mascots makes it easier for both children and parents to understand the difference between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. It also gets rid of the fear of disorders since it is much easier to grasp thanks to the mascots’ descriptions.
The main objective of this event is to raise awareness of thyroid disorders in children and in pregnant women. Apart from having a lecture, there will also be a screening and a checkup for those with the symptoms of thyroid disorder, as well as consultation and compliance in treatment.
The “Catching Butterflies” event will cover more than just health awareness; there are tons of events that will make it enjoyable. Going with the theme of pretty butterflies to represent the thyroid gland, there will be exciting prizes, butterfly clay art, caricature, cookies, dance numbers, mascots, and so much more.
The culminating event for the 2016 International Thyroid Awareness Week will be held at the Fisher Mall Event Center on May 28, 2016, Saturday.