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PIA Press Release

Abra tops TB program implementation in CAR

by Maritess Beņas

BANGUED, Abra (1 September) -- The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) here has topped the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) implementation in the Cordillera Administrative Region for the last five consecutive years since 2002.

The NTP in Abra is managed by Virgnia Lalin, the nurse coordinator.

Because of this, Lalin, together with her partner Lilibeth Martin, the provincial medical technologist, were invited to present their strategies in successful program implementation at the Department of Health-Center for Health Development-CAR Regional Office during the presentation of best practices for replication by other provinces and rural health units in CAR.

The seminar-orientation on the best practices of the various health providers in CAR was conducted at the Prince Plaza Hotel and participated by decision makers like the governors, mayors, Sangguniang Bayan members of health committees, program coordinators, population officers, and health workers in the region.

Since 1992, Abra's NTP performance has been consistently garnering the highest performance rating of 96% in terms of detection and successful medication of TB patients.

Lalin attributes the successful implementation of the NTP in the province to the following. First, her partnership with Martin, who being the provincial MedTech, provides immediate technical support especially in the case detection and monitoring.

Second is support of the TB Diagnostic Committee that provides proper evaluation of the patients and the Private-Public Mix Dots which follows the standard process of detecting and curing TB.

Third, Lalin acknowledges the national government, too, for the provision of free medicines because patients undergo six months medication.

Fourth, the Medicos del Mundo Foundation which gave in 2005, free microscopes and free trainings to the midwives who operate the microscopes in detecting the bacteria found in the smears of the patients.

The fifth which is one of the most important factors is the intensive information education campaign which is carried out in collaboration with the local media to create awareness of the people on the NTP.

It must be noted that TB is a highly communicable disease. However it is easily cured provided we pay attention to it. TB is easily detected with the following symptoms: cough and fever for more that 15 days which could not be cured by antibiotics; loss of weight and weakening; and a blood in the smear.

TB could be prevented thru healthy lifestyle like proper diet, exercise and non-smoking. (PIA-Abra) [top]

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