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PIA Press Release
2009/06/18

141 Bohol children hit by tuberculosis

by Rey Anthony Chiu

Tagbilaran City (18 June) -- There is a danger more disastrous than swine flu and about 141 Boholano children have it.

Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez bared this as he reported to the mayors gathered during their bi-monthly meeting in Inabanga that about 141 Boholanos children having tuberculosis.

With the needed urgency and while these children are under intensive treatment, Dr. Lopez, who also sits as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Health Committee Chair told mayors to help local health authorities do something about it.

He told them that an average treatment regimen covers 6 to 8 months and patients need to spend more or less P10,300 each to get the uninterrupted treatment going.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, which mostly affects the lungs.

While now considered curable, tuberculosis treatment regimen would need supervised full course of correct anti-TB medicines to assure continued regular, uninterrupted treatment.

Recent cases of discontinued treatment has cause the surfacing of a new kind of bacteria now resistant to anti-TB medicines, so that a treatment system called Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) is used where 90% of the cases are cured. World Health organizations said.

The United States Government, through a project called Linking Initiatives and Networking to Control Tuberculosis (TB LINC), is partnering with Bohol through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the governor, LMP and US ambassador Christie Kenney years back.

With the TB LINC in Bohol, USAID, local officials and the LMP agree to co-share in the costs and partner in the project implementation.

Dr. Lopez then reminded mayors of the MOA commitments they signed: to provide policy support especially on anti TB ordinances as well as allowing municipal staff to attend trainings relative to implemented programs against TB.

The overall dream then is to drastically reduce tuberculosis death by 50% in 2015, a tough act to perform with the country still considered burdened with the disease. (PIA) [top]

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