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World TB Day Commemorated

Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the top causes of death for Filipinos. This has gone on for decades and TB is considered endemic in the Philippines. The late President Manuel L. Quezon succumbed to tuberculosis and that is why the Quezon Institute was named after him.

The Department of Health (DOH) led the annual commemoration of of World TB Day last March 24, 2017 at the Quezon Institute Compouns in Quezon City. The theme was “SAMA-SAMANG TULDUKAN ANG TB!” 

The campaign against the elimination of TB worldwide is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2035.

According to the National TB Program, 294,907 cases of TB was detected in the country last 2016. The country has maintained a 90% Treatment Success rate against TB for the past years.

This goes a long way in the anti-TB campaign of the government since the Philippines is one of the nine high-burdened countries that have been successful in attaining all three 2015 targets of the Millennium Development Goals but TB is still the 8th leading causes of illness and deaths in the country.

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to pose as a serious public health emergency to the people. This fact has to be known by everyone so that proper actions can be initiated, implemented and sustained over time.

This year marks the onset of a fundamental change in approach from TB control to TB elimination, and the implementation of the 2017-2022 Philippine Strategic TB Elimination Plan 1 or shortly known as PhilSTEP 1. This presents an opportunity where a call to a unified action against TB can be made amongst everybody – including government, stakeholders, private, high-risk populations and their families. 

Alongside, the Philippine TB Caucus, patterned after the Global TB Caucus, has been launched last March 14, 2017. This group, chaired by Congresswoman Angelina Tan and vice-chaired by Congresswoman Estrellita Suansing and Congresswoman Sandra Eriguel, is crucial to our aim of eliminating TB because they can formulate policies/issuances to increase the investments on TB Control. As the leading TB advocates of the country, the Philippine TB Caucus continuously ensures sustainability of the program even with changing administration and membership. The Philippine Coalition Against TB (PhilCAT), being the largest coalition of TB, is technically supporting its operation. 

Secretary Ubial emphasizes, “The DOH alone cannot win this fight against Tuberculosis, I am encouraging all to support the government’s actions to achieve this victory soon. All for Health towards Health for All. Achieve TB Elimination!” she concluded.

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