SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Department of Health’s regional office in Ilocos Region (DOH-1) recorded 10,961 tuberculosis (TB) cases in the Ilocos Region in 2021.

In the virtual presser hosted by the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Region on Wednesday, DOH-1 medical officer Dr. Rheuel Bobis said of the total number, 650 cases are in Ilocos Norte, 734 in Ilocos Sur, 1,831 in La Union, and 7,746 in Pangasinan.

“We are continuously conducting active cases finding through mobile X-ray. For management of TB patients, we have the TB-DOTS (directly observed therapy) in hospitals and clinics accredited by the DOH for the treatment of TB,” he said.

He added DOTS is free of charge for all TB patients.

Bobis said the number of TB cases in the region has declined due to the pandemic.

“Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has affected the number of TB cases in the region. Only a few were able to go to the hospitals for a medical checkup due to the restrictions imposed in the past years amid the pandemic,” he said.

However, Bobis said the rate of successful treatment of TB patients in the region, or those who finished the six to 12-month therapy, was high.

“They were monitored to ensure that they take their medicines daily,” he said.

Bobis reminded the public to consult with physicians if they experience symptoms of TB and to complete the treatment to avoid recurrence of the disease. (PNA)