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PIA Press Release

Anti-TB drive intensified

by RG Alama

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (11 April) -- Health Secretary Francisco Duque 111 has instructed all regional executive directors of the health department to step up their respective campaigns against tuberculosis in a wake of emerging threat of multi-drug resistant cases in the country.

Incomplete and insufficient management and treatment of tuberculosis caused patients’ resistant to the TB multi-drug.

A more vigorous campaign to complete the TB course treatment is very necessary for TB patients to understand that medicines that are not taken properly and correctly can cause resistant to tuberculosis Secretary Duque said.

The Directly-Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) should be widely spread and how to use the TB multi-drugs. Otherwise cases of drug-resistant among patients will increase, he said.

In Davao region, the Department of Health Center for Health Development regional office has sustained its advocacy drive through the use of media outlets the radio, print and television stations.

DOH XI Director Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial , during the airing of the TB activities at “Takna sa Kahimsug” program over DXRP anchored by Nitz Escarpe and the Philippine Information Agency explained that patients need to take their medicines “religiously and continuously” as it is a big factor” to fight tuberculosis.

Director Rosell-Ubial made a lengthy discussion during the recently-concluded World TB Day adding that in the Philippines, some 75 people die of TB everyday due to incorrect intake of multi-drug medicines.

She said that to control TB, especially the multi-drug resistant cases, the DOH has been implementing the DOTS, which is highly recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

With the effective implementation of DOTS to fight TB, it is just a matter of time for us to detect or find other possible multi-drug resistant TB cases, she said.

A regular Health radio program has been sustained in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency through Assistant Director General Mindanao-cluster Efren Elbanbuena and the Bureau of Broadcast Radyo ng Bayan managed by Peng Alino.

Dapecol ignored intel

10th Infantry Division Commanding General Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac said that Davao Penal Colony did not give appropriate measures to intelligence reports of threats from the New People’s Army which was relayed to them.

“Dapecol was informed of impending threats, incidentally they did not take appropriate measures.” said Maj. Gen. Boac.

Early morning Easter Sunday (April 8) about 30 NPA guerillas said to be led by Leonardo Pitao or alias Kumander Parago swoop down on unsuspecting Dapecol guards then struck the armory carting away at least 118 firearms.

Maj. Gen. Boac said that they have already received intelligence reports that the NPA’s were eyeing to strike soft targets rather than engage military units. He said that security agencies with high powered-firearms, which are highly-prized by the guerillas have been considered as a soft target. Dapecol with its armory of firearms was included and was warned.

The Division commander said that Dapecol with its men and firepower would have been able to counter-attack or fend off the raiders. But no such resistance was given during the raid.

Among the firearms carted away included M-16 rifles. M-4, M-14, Carbine, shotguns, pistols, revolvers and some antiquated Einfeld rifles. The rebels also got away with newly procured 3,086 pieces of ammunition.

Meanwhile Chief Superintendent Francisco Villaroman, Commander Police Operations of Police Regional Office XI bared some lapses on the part of Dapecol which he describes as laxity of the penal colony despite initial official warnings.

He said that despite having 168 guards the security force could have counter-attacked. He also said that the Penal colony guards are well armed, self-contained security force which could provide adequate defense to the complex.

C/Supt. Villaroman also said that if Dapecol do not have adequate guards which were during the Holy Week, they could have coordinated with the military or the police to beef up their security but there was none made.

He also said that high-powered firearms like M4 rifles should never be at the gates and should be instead deployed at the base. And at least two teams of guards should be stationed a t the gate. During the time of the attack, a lone guard stood as sentry at the Dapecol gate.

The police officer said that a thorough investigation is being held regarding the incident. (PIA XI) [top]

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