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PIA Press Release
2007/06/20

Davao CAT continues fight vs TB

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (20 June) -- As the Health department has been preparing for the long activities on the forthcoming Lung month (August) celebration, Davao City’s own coalition against tuberculosis, dubbed as DaciCAT, has its own strategic document, rules and regulations in unifying the effort of government agencies and the private sector in battling tuberculosis.

Dr. Parkash Mansukhani of the Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis (PhilCAT) said 35 agencies are joining DaciCAT and work closely with PhiliCAT in implementing the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP).

Under this program, the Directly-Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS) is the preferred mode of treatment. It uses another person to make sure that a TB patient takes his or her medicines throughout the entire treatment period.

The Philippines is already seventh in the world and second in the Western Pacific region in terms of TB prevalence.

Dr. Mansukhani said about 200,000 new cases are detected yearly and about 755 Filipinos die from TB every day.

The government wants a 100 percent DOTS coverage in the public sector including private sector, meaning that it wants DOTS applied on every case admitted to a government and private health facilities.

However, the global and national target of a 70-percent rate on TB cannot be achieved without involving the private sector.

Survey interviews showed that 36 to 60 percent of TB patients consulted with private physicians. Conservatively, 30 to 40 percent of all TB patients consulted private doctors.

Dr. Mansukhani said the government has created a private sector counterpart through PhilCAT which is why the DaciCAT was being organized to become the front liners in the fight against TB in the local level.

“For the expansion of DOTS nationwide, the provision of free drugs from the NTP is crucial and essential to ensure successful implementation of TB programs,” he said. (PIA XI) [top]

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