Iligan CHO, MARADECA kick off Access TB Program

ILIGAN CITY, Apr 29 (PIA)--The Iligan City Health Office (CHO) and the Maranao People Development Center, Inc. (MARADECA) in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) conducted a 16-day Access TB Program bringing in medical services to barangays to identify and give treatment to tuberculosis (TB)-positive patients.

“Ginawa po namin ito para mapalapit sa mga taong malayo sa siyudad para makita natin kung positive sila o hindi sa TB at para in case kung may positive, madecrease natin ang cases, magamot iyong mga positive at para maiwasang makahawa sa mga tao,” said MARADECA Humanitarian Response Team Leader Nashifa Macarimbang Bitiara.

[We are doing this to come closer to people who are far from the city and see if they are positive or not of TB and if in case there are positive, we will be able to decrease the cases, treat the positive and avoid transmission to other people.]

The program which is now on its 10th-day targets to cover 30 barangays and 2,500 Iliganons who belong to vulnerable populations such as groups of senior citizens, and sikad and motorcycle drivers, among others.

Dr. Ardel Castaneda-Padayhag, CHO National TB Control Program medical coordinator, bared that while TB is rampant in the city, treatments can be given as this is curable.

“Actually, Iligan is a highly urbanized city and daghan gyud ta og mga cases sa TB [we really have lots of TB cases]… TB has been a longtime disease. Dugay na gyud ni nga panahon, sauna pa ni [This has already existed ever since] but this treatable. This is curable. Actually, there are four cascades of care. We have the screen, test and diagnose, treatment then prevent,” she detailed.

Noting that all 44 barangays in the city have their own health centers, Padayhag then called on citizens to immediately seek medical consultations if symptoms of TB persist as this will help not only the patient’s life but also the surrounding people. 

TB symptoms include a cough that lasts for two weeks, back pain, loss of appetite, and fever during nighttime.

Meanwhile, recipients of the program extended their gratitude for the medical services extended to them.

“Nalipay ko nga nagpahigayon og ingani kay aduna pud koy balatian nga gusto nako mahibaw-an. Salamat kaayo sa pagpahigayon ani sa gobyerno kay ikatabang kaayo sa mga katawhan nga nanginahanglan,” expressed Warlito Gabisay of Brgy. Hinaplanon.

[I am happy that this kind of activity was conducted because I also have an illness that I want to discover. Thank you very much to the government because this is a big help to the people who are really in need.]

They also urged their fellow Iliganons to take part in government community outreach, especially medical services, as these can be availed for free. 

“Ako pud ipaabot sa akong mga kaila, ilabina sa akong mga kaliwatan, nga muapil ta ani unta kay libre na gud ni. Ato pud makita kung unsa pud ang naa sa atong panlawas,” stated Benigno Pitogo of Brgy. Digkilaan.

[I want to send a message to everyone I know, especially my relatives, that we should join this because this is already for free. We will also see what is with our body.]

Apart from availing of free chest X-ray, participating citizens were also given multivitamins and ointments. (CRG/ PIA-ICIC)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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