Tuberculosis-free Negros seen in 5 years: PHO

The Negros Oriental government through its Provincial Health Office (PHO) targets to attain tuberculosis(TB)-free province in five years, a health official said on Friday. PHO chief Dr. Liland Estacion said this came up during the celebration of the National Lung Month last month with the 'Para Healthy Lungs, Pa-Check Ka Lungs' culminating here on Thursday. 'We have agreed to reach a TB-free Negros Oriental status in five years by conducting yearly X-ray screening for everyone,' Estacion said. 'Contact tracing in families with potential TB cases will also be undertaken,' she added. The PHO chief also highlighted the need for information and education drives to combat stigma in TB patients and their families and ramp up prevention and control of the disease. She noted that many TB cases go unnoticed and untreated because of the stigma that comes with having such a disease. 'People need to be informed that TB is now treatable and there is no need to be ashamed of it,' she added. PHO data records showed that 4,717 TB cases were recorded in Negros Oriental last year, with a treatment success rate of 47 percent. This year, the PHO is still consolidating data on TB patients after more or less 500 people were accommodated on Thursday during the 'Pa-Check ka Lungs' activity at the Macias Sports Center here as results have yet to be validated. Gov. Manuel Sagarbarria joined officials from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department of Health (DOH) Region 7 officials during the activity that included free X-ray screening, Covid-19 vaccination, among others. Sagarbarria announced that the province will acquire at least two ultra-portable X-ray machines so that the hard-to-reach population can be tested for TB. To date, USAID through DOH has loaned an ultra-portable X-ray machine to Negros Oriental.

Source: Philippines News Agency