USAID’s TB Platforms Project conducts active case finding for TB cases in NCR amid COVID-19 pandemic

Photos courtesy of USAID TB Platforms Project

PASIG CITY, March 21 (PIA) -- Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its TB Platforms project, continues to assist local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the conduct of active case finding (ACF) activities to find and treat Filipinos with tuberculosis (TB).

In collaboration with the 17 local health offices in Metro Manila, the USAID TB Platforms provide free chest X-ray and comprehensive medical consultations to people of high risk to be infected with TB especially senior citizens, diabetics and smokers. Those who will be found to have TB will be referred to the nearest health facility for proper treatment and care.

“With social distancing and following the health protocols, we continue to work with community healthcare workers -doctors, nurses, TB program staff and barangay healthcare workers for the conduct of ACF. We have advanced registration and social media announcements related to the event in order to solicit participation,” cited Dr. Hansel John Ybañez, USAID TB Platforms’ Field Operations Area Manager for NCR.

He added that along with his team members, despite the challenges they face, they must ensure the availability of TB services so that the public will not delay their consultation especially if they are experiencing symptoms of TB or if they have a family member who has TB is not enrolled for treatment yet, we encourage them to support the patient with the necessary treatment.

“We inform them that here are free TB services and free TB medicines in the public health facility,” added Dr. Ybañez.

USAID’s TB Platforms, a five-year project implemented by University Research Co., LLC. (URC) aims to assist the Department of Health National Tuberculosis Control Program intensify and accelerate efforts toward eliminating TB by year 2035.

Using evidence-based, data driven approaches and technology, USAID’s TB Platforms engages change makers at the individual, community, provincial and regional levels to promote positive health-seeking and TB prevention behaviors. It invigorates service delivery networks of community health workers and diagnostic and treatment facilities in both government and private sectors to sustainably provide quality patient-centered care across the TB continuum.

Likewise, the project helps reinforce the capacity of local government units, and leverage their commitment and resources to plan, finance, manage and lead TB control efforts that meet patient needs.

On March 24 we commemorate World TB Day.  In line with this, USAID’s TB Platforms in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency and Radyo Pilipinas will have a series of public and media engagements raising public awareness about the disease.

The project team also partnered with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) in engaging local chief executives to make TB a priority amid the pandemic. (PIA NCR)

 





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

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