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PIA Press Release

Best TB DOTS Centers in Kalinga awarded

Tabuk, Kalinga (7 December) -- Three Rural Health Units certified as Tuberculosis Directly Observed Short- course (TB DOTS) Centers were recently awarded as winners for the "2010 Search for Best TB DOTS Center" in the province.

Provincial Health Officer Romulo Gaerlan said this is in recognition for the RHUs "efforts in effectively and efficiently implementing the TB DOTS Chemotherapy or "Tutok Gamutan."

From the seven evaluated RHUs in the province, Tabuk 1 RHU got the first place award with P15,000.00 cash prize. Second place was awarded to Tinglayan RHU with P12,000.00 cash reward and the third place went to Tabuk III RHU with the P10,000.00 award. The Center for Health Development Regional Office (CHD-CAR) provided the cash rewards.

According to Gaerlan, winners were chosen based on the following criteria: cure rate and case finding rate based on the 2009 NTP, complete recording and filing and prompt reporting, allocation of budget for the program, percentage of sputum examination as the primary toll in the detection of TB, referral system, formulation and implementation of policies, follow-up strategies, and quality of laboratory services.

The other four certified TB DOTS Centers which were also evaluated were Tabuk II RHU, Balbalan RHU, Lubuagan RHU and Pinukpuk RHU.

During the event, the CHD-CAR through the provincial Health Office (PHO) also gave recognition to the Kalinga TB Diagnostic Committee with a special award and cash incentive of P15,000.00 for "being one of the functional and sustained Diagnostic Committee in the Region."

Said Committee is chaired by Dr. Yvonne Guinid, NTP Medical Coordinator. Members include Dr. Veronica Bayong, Dr. Rita Dong-as and Ms. Rose Alunday with Ms. Carmen Mamanao and Leah Bagtang as the committee secretariat.

As gathered from the Department of Health (DOH) website, "TB is the 6th leading cause of illness and the 6th leading cause of deaths among the Filipinos." The 2nd National Prevalence Survey in 1997 reveals that most TB patients belong to the economically productive age-group (15-54 years old).

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by TB bacteria called the Mycobacterium tuberculosis that primarily affects the lungs. This condition is known as pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). One can also have tuberculosis in the bones, meninges, joints, genito-urinary tract, liver, kidneys, intestines and heart and this is called extra-pulmonary tuberculosis.

To address the problem the government created the National TB Program (NTP) implemented nationwide to detect active at least 70% of the TB cases and cure 85% of these to eventually decrease TB problem in the country.

According to the website, the DOH through the NTP adopted the D.O.T.S - 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 and patients could avail of these services in the rural health units, city health units, city health centers and government hospitals around the country. (ggdumallig/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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