A community-based tuberculosis (TB) awareness advocacy program was recently pursued by Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation in partnership with the Bataraza Municipal Health Office (MHO) – Rural Health Unit (RHU) in Barangay Igang-Igang, Bataraza.
Hilaria Venus, Tuberculosis Program coordinator, said that the TB awareness advocacy program held on September 19, 2017 was intended to detect possible infected individuals.
“Itong TB awareness advocacy ay isang prevention-curative approach, upang sa maagang panahon ay malaman at maberipika na natin kung sino-sino ang merong kaso ng TB, upang mabigyan ng agarang aksyon at lunas,” Venus said.
Venus noted statistics stating that the country is sixth in the world with the highest number of tuberculosis cases and an incidence rate of 470 a year.
“Ngayong 2017, pang-anim na ang Pilipinas sa kaso ng TB at tumaas hanggang 470 ang incidence rate ngayong taon. Ibig sabihin yun ang dapat nating itarget, mga pasyenteng dapat nating hanapin,” she said.
To enforce the prevention-curative approach, the program was divided into two parts, a lecture proper and consultations. The prevention part was the information, education and communication approach, educating the community on the concepts, causes and effects of tuberculosis.
The curative part was the conduct of tests such as Direct Sputum Smear Microscopy (DSSM) exam for adults in which samples of phlegm were gathered and Purified Protein Derivatives (PPD) test, a skin test for children 9 years old below, in which certain medicines were being tested to observe the patient’s reaction.
“Nagkaroon muna tayo ng maikling pagpapaliwanag tungkol sa tuberculosis at mga bagay na nakapaloob dito. Pagkatapos ay gumawa na tayo ng mga tests gaya ng DSSM at PPD,” Venus said.
“Pinondohan ng RTNMC at CBNC ang ganitong programa sa Barangay Igang-Igang dahil may mga records na tuberculosis ang ikinamatay. Ito’y upang maiwasan na ang ganoong insidente at upang maagapan ang mga sintomas nito,” said Jenny Dela Vega, RTNMC Community Development Assistant.
Regine Alie, Community Volunteer Health Worker (CVHW) of Igang-Igang said that the program is really a need and significant for an earlier move to counter tuberculosis.
“Mahalaga po talaga itong ganitong programa upang malaman kung sino ang may mga karamdaman at maagapan kaagad. Nakakatakot po talaga ang TB, dahil dito po sa isa naming Sitio, may namatay dahil sa sakit na TB,” she said.
The activity was participated by 164 residents of Bgy. Igang-Igang, 95 were adults and 69 were children.