Health: Tuberculosis Control Prevention in Philippines

Article excerpt

The Philippines observes National Tuberculosis Awareness Month in August of each year. Regions around the country prepare activities such as free consultation, free treatment, lectures, distribution of free medicines, sports competitions, film showing, to inform people of the anti-tuberculosis (TB) campaign and make them understand the importance of early TB diagnosis and treatment.

The government's National Tuberculosis Control Program aims to detect 85% of active TB cases and cure at least 90% of these cases. The Philippine health sector has adopted the Directly Observed Therapy-Short Course (DOTS) program, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), to strengthen the campaign against TB, the 6th leading cause of illness and mortality in the country. Under DOTS, a relative or a health worker directly observes the patient taking anti-TB medicines daily. The Philippines' DOTS treatment success is placed at 88 percent, higher than the WHO target of 85 percent.

The WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2012 showed the number of Filipinos afflicted with TB decreased by 52 percent and TB casualties by 49 percent. The Philippines is among the 22 "high-burden" countries for TB epidemic. Along with China, Cambodia, and Vietnam, it accounted for 93 percent of TB cases in Western Pacific Region in 2012. …