MANILA, (PNA) — Because tuberculosis is a preventable and curable disease, a health official said on Friday that no one should die because of it.
Department of Health-National Capital Region (DOH-NCR) Director, Eduardo Janairo stressed this following the recent 5th Manuel L. Quezon Award given to outstanding local government units and health workers who work hand in hand to eliminate tuberculosis in the country.
“No one should die of this disease because anti-TB drugs are made available for free in all Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course (DOTS) centers all over Metro Manila,” Janairo stated.
The DOH DOTS Program is a comprehensive strategy endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUATLD) to detect and cure TB patients in the country.
DOTS can prevent new infections among children and adults, can stop resistance to anti-TB drugs and is cost-effective. Under the program, patients are required to take four kinds of drugs for six months.
“A person with TB only needs to do is to submit himself for treatment regularly and religiously take his medications in order to be cured. He explained that it is the only proven strategy to ensure the completion of TB treatment,” he added.
Janairo explained that if patients with TB had a hard time coming to health centers, health workers must seek them and provide the proper counseling and medical treatment needed for their medication.
“Only through an intensive follow up can we ensure the progress of every TB patient,” Janairo said.
According to the NCR – National Tuberculosis Report of 2012, there are 32,638 registered TB cases in Metro Manila with Quezon City having the most number of cases with 6,680, Manila with 5,649.
Meanwhile Caloocan with 3,366, Taguig with 2,238, Valenzuela with 2,159, Pasig with 1,628, Las Pines City with 1,281, Marikina with 1,198, Mandaluyong with 1,147, Malabo with 1,121, Muntinlupa with 1,098, Makati with 1,095, Navotas with 1,095, Paranaque with 1,089, Pasay with 981, San Juan with 326, Pateros with 150 and New Blabbed Prison with 337 TB cases.
The DOH-NCR stated that tuberculosis is a major public health concern with 75 Filipinos dying of the disease daily with 5 deaths per minute.
In the Philippines, it ranks 9th among the 22 high burdened countries (HBCs) worldwide according to the Global TB Control Report. and ranks 7th with the most number of deaths (31,000) in 2010 as reported by WHO.