Davao CAT to fight TB
By Rose B. Palacio
Davao City (20 December) -- Davao City's own Coalition Against Tuberculosis, dubbed as DaciCAT, has its own strategic document, rules and regulations in unifying government agencies and the private sector in battling tuberculosis.
Dr. Parkash Mansukhani of the Philipppine Coalition Against Tuberculosis (PhilCAT), in an interview during the regular DOH program “Takna sa Kahimsug: aired over DXRP Radyo ng Bayan anchored by Nitz Escarpe and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) stressed the need for a continued vigilance on the fight against TB.
He said some 35 agencies are joining DaciCAT and work closely with PhilCAT in implementing the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP).
Under this program, the Directly-Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS) is the preferred mode of treatment for TB. 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 75 Filipinos die from TB every day.
The government wants 100-percent DOTS coverage in the public sector, meaning that it wants DOTS applied on every case admitted to a government health facility.
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 go to private physicians for consultations. 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 frontliners in the fight against TB. (PIA-XI) [top]