Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, August 24, 2015

Satellite treatment center for drug-resistant TB now operational

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Aug. 20, (PIA) --The satellite treatment center for the Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (PMDT) established by the Provincial Government of Catanduanes in Baras Town is now open.

With the support of the Department of Health, the establishment of the center  aims to eradicate the increasing prevalence of tuberculosis among Catandunganons.

The facility was launched on Aug. 13 and came after the administration of Governor Araceli Wong inked a memorandum of agreement with the corporate-led social development group Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), which works in partnership with DOH in support of the national Tuberculosis Control Program.

With the battlecry “TB ay Tuldukan,” the medical service program encourages everyone to show care and not sow fear on TB. The PMDT satellite treatment center in Catanduanes is 5th in Bicol, with the ones in Camarines Norte and Masbate still to be completed.

Dr. Angel Albert Lamban, who heads the center, said that the facility will ensure that all TB patients in the island will be able to access a focused medication program free of charge. It will act as “halfway house” to take care of Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) TB cases in the entire province, he added.

Through a grant from the PBSP Global Fund, each MDR case enrolled is provided P150 Daily meal allowance and will receive P20, 000 when they graduated from the 18-month treatment program. With the support from the local government through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the MDR patients will be able to avail of livelihood programs and other income generating projects. Already, 15 Catandunganons who are patients in the Sorsogon treatment center have transferred to the Baras PMDT facility, said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Hazel Palmes.

During the program, a patient is expected to take about 15 tablets daily depending on body weight, given using juice, as well as injure 158 injections. They will be given for free ancillary medicines like antihypertensive drugs and insulin, especially TB patients with hypertension and diabetes.

While a patient would have to undergo all necessary laboratory procedures, he/she would have to give consent for the conduct of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) test. “If one has HIV, he is most likely to have TB,” Dr. Lamban stressed. “If one has TB, he probably has HIV especially if he has not recovered despite treatment.”

The voluntary HIV testing would be done at the proposed testing center at Bato Maternity and Children’s Hospital, with the testing itself and results kept confidential. Selected BMCH personnel are now undergoing training in HIV screening procedures prior to its eventual operation.

Sputum exam and TB Directly-Observed Treatment Short course (TB DOTS) remains with the rural health units while all Y-ray procedures will be done at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center. Pending completion of the training of the medical technologist who will handle the Gene Xpert, all samples are to be forwarded to Sorsogon for testing.

The PMDT program seek to reduce by half the prevalence and mortalitydue to tuberculosis in the country as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goal, with an estimates 65, 000 cases remaining undetected and untreated.

In Catanduanes, TB ranks 14th among the leading causes of morbidity, with the prevalence rate rising to a high of 360 per 100, 000 population in 2012. Panganiban and Baras had the highest prevalence rates among 11 towns. On the other hand, deaths due to TB was 6th among mortality causes in the last five years, with an average of 14 and a high of 28 0n 2012.

 In her message to the stakeholders during the launching, Governor Araceli Wong urged them to consider all measures to combat Tuberculosis among Catandunganons and encourage sufferers and their families to take advantage of this free medical service, especially those who are hesitant to seek treatment because of the stigma attached to the disease.

Also present were PHO Palmes, Dr. VietrezAbella, health officials, municipal officials and barangay captains, provincial office heads, municipal health officers and delegates from Sorsogon. (MAL/EAB-PIA5/Catanduanes)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/841440411578/satellite-treatment-center-for-drug-resistant-tb-now-operational#sthash.obf7l4aj.dpuf

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