THERE are 8 Gene Xpert machines fully operational in the region to amplify rapid detection and detection Tuberculosis (TB).
With 60 to 70 percent increase in the case notification rate of tuberculosis recorded from 2016-2017, Department of Health-Cordillera Senior Health Program Officer Clint Gil Ildefonso said the region is hopeful for patients to seek cure from the new and available technology.
“Increasing ang cases and treatment success rate ang problema natin iyong compliance ng patients sa kanyang gamutan. With the developments with the technology given mas ma encourage sila na mag seek ng services.”
Last year an 89 percent of the treatment success rate was noted for tuberculosis patients who completed the six months medication cycle.
“Kinakailangan ng ambassador per province na magbibigay and mag e-encourage na i-embrace iyong gamutan and then lalabas sila, lalantad para hindi ma stigmatized,” Ildefonso added.
A comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Plan Act 2016 signed into law by former President Benigno Aquino III April 26 last year which supports the country’s commitment to sustainable development goal which calls for ending the TB epidemic by 2030.
With 19 sections of implementing rules and regulations signed by DOH secretary Paulyn Rosell Ubial adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development that includes patient centeredness to TB and further increase government investments for TB prevention and treatment and control.
The law adopts a multi-sectoral approach in responding to the disease and mandatory notification on TB cases by all private health centers, hospitals and facilities shall observe the national protocol on TB management and shall notify the DOH of all TB cases.
“Alam natin malaki ang pondo ang TB and iyan ay kailangan pa pong lakihan para mapalawak iyong implementation at mahanap lahat iyong may TB,” said Ildefonso.
The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) through DOH-CAR provide quality test to people suspected of the TB disease case detection with the use of the Xpert machine.
Ildefonso added “May declaration na nilabas si DOH secretary na requiring all RHU’s na mabigyan ng (Gene Xpert) machine iyon nga lang strategically hindi lahat lahat. Iyong mga iba kasi gusto apat na placer pero iyong puwedeng ibigay muna sa kanila is one placer kasi sayang kung ibibigay kung hindi nila magagamit.”
For 2018 to 2019 an expansion distribution in the Cordillera of four placer Gene Xpert machine units from PBSP. One each for DOH-CAR, Baguio City, Baguio Health Services Office, following three each for Rural Health Units in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, ang Kalinga, while two for Mountain Province.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 18, 2017.
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