DOH, business group team up to beat TB

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is aiming to eliminate tuberculosis in the Philippines by 2035, according to Dr. Corazon Flores, director of the Center for Health and Development-Metro Manila.

Flores spoke at a gathering in Manila in late November where they announced the DOH’s collaboration with the City of Manila and Philippine Business for Social Progress on a P 4.6-billion project to provide free medicines and treatment for TB.
The World Health Organization reported 26,000 tuberculosis deaths in the Philippines in 2017. Of those who died, 380 were positive with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

TB is an infectious disease commonly affecting the lungs and is transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and spitting.

According to a report by The STAR in September, almost one million Filipinos have been infected with TB. But Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde said then that that might be because the Philippines had adopted a better testing device called the GeneXpert machine.

DOH data found that, on average, about 60 Filipinos die every day due to TB.

READ: DOH: Philippines has highest tuberculosis cases in ASEAN

“DOH and PBSP provide free medicines. We also aquired GeneXpert machines that diagnose TB. We also have doctors and nurses. The challenge is for barangay health workers to bridge the gap and help find missing persons with TB,” PBSP president Brother Armin Luistro told barangay health workers from Manila.

“Let’s find missing persons with asymptomatic tuberculosis because they can spread the disease if not treated,” Flores said.

She also stressed that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III committed to a gradual reduction in TB deaths by 50% from 22,000, to 11,000 by 2022, before reaching the goal of eliminating TB deaths in the country.

Watch video of the event here

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