DOH intensifies drive to reduce tuberculosis cases

By Leilani Junio

March 22, 2018, 9:43 pm

MANILA --The Department of Health (DOH) is calling on different sectors to collaborate in boosting efforts toward reducing and eventually wiping out the number of tuberculosis cases among Filipinos by 2022 via the Philippine Strategic TB Elimination Plan (PhilSTEP).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that cooperation is vital as no public health intervention can be successful without the efforts of all the stakeholders.

"Together, let us rise to the challenge to end TB," said Duque during his speech at the turn-over ceremony of USAID technical assistance to DOH at the Heritage Park Hotel in Pasay City on Wednesday.

The technical assistance, amounting to PHP1.5 billion, includes learning modules and tools to help bolster the National Tuberculosis Program of the department.

"I encourage everyone to use this tool and develop new out-of-the-box approaches to meet the challenges for TB epidemic," said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim in his speech during the event.

The tools will be used by USAID and private sector partners of DOH as guide in finding TB patients and then link them to cure and treatment under the Innovations and Multi-Sectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of Tuberculosis project.

The private partners particularly focus on the priority areas wherein there were high cases of TB particularly the underserved populations including children, elderly, indigenous peoples and those with multi-drug resistance conditions.

Based on DOH survey, there are an estimated 573,000 TB cases in the country.

Among the partners in the undertaking include Philippine Business for Social Progress; Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis; Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and the Philippine College of Chest Physicians. (PNA)