Iligan CHO strengthens campaign against TB, HIV

ILIGAN CITY, Nov. 15 (PIA) - From the hinterlands to the busy streets of this city, the Iligan City Health Office (CHO) conducted a week-long TB/HIV Caravan to communities in need of medical services especially those with respiratory health problems.

The team of health practitioners offered free chest x-ray, medical consultation, medicines, hygiene kits, and a comprehensive information campaign on Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) to all seven districts of the city including those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA).

A total of 588 patients have availed of the free consultation while 829 for  x-ray services.

Romeo Flores, a 66-year-old vegetable farmer from far-flung barangay Rogongon expresses gratitude for the services brought by the CHO.

"Dako kaayo mi'g pasalamat na naabot mo (CHO) diri, wala gyud mi nag-expect nga naay maabot na panalangin sa Ginoo nga daghang tawong matabangan. Kung kami pa muadto sa siyudad, dako kaayo ang pamasahe og dili mi basta-basta maka-adto didto kung walay saktong kwarta," Flores shared.

[We're all thankful that you (CHO) came here, we didn't expect that a blessing from God came to help us. If we're the ones to go downtown, we have to pay for an expensive fare, and we also can't go there when we don't have enough money to spend.]

He also admitted that with his old age, the risk of infection to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is high in crowded commercial centers thinking the CHO is within the heart of Iligan.

Dr. Ardel Padayhag lectures patients on TB and HIV infection.

Meanwhile, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the persistence of health workers to push this program can't be provoked when the entire team is motivated to reach their aim.

"We are targeting a 95 percent case detection rate. It's because, in the four cascades of care, the first one is the 'screen', then test and diagnose, treat and finally prevent," explained Dr. Ardel Padayhag, a physician from CHO.

She also elaborated that there are already three TB testing facilities in Iligan including the two inaugurated labs in barangays Hinaplanon and Tomas Cabili where the new GeneXpert machines were turned over on Monday.

In addition, city vice mayor Jemar Veracruz announced that the council will launch the 'Sun Down' Program.

"This Sun Down Program which means that these people who have TB, and the possibility of TB can come after 5 o'clock for their checkup. Ang iniiwasan natin kase ay yung some people are ashamed to come to the open especially if they have TB, ashamed to go to checkups because of the stigma. So, this program started by our city health so that all people could avail of the checkup," Veracruz elaborated. (CLGV/PIA-ICIC)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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