USAID’s TB Platforms, Manila Health Office, Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center provide free chest x-ray for dialysis patients

PASIG CITY, April 29 (PIA) -- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)--through its TB Platforms Project implemented by University research Co. LLC, in partnership with Manila City Health Office, and Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center--recently conducted an intensified case finding (ICF) activity for tuberculosis (TB). 

USAID’s TB Platforms, in partnership with Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, holds a three-day intensified case finding (ICF) activity for TB targeting dialysis patients and their families as beneficiaries. (Photo courtesy of USAID TB Platforms)

A total of 432 participants (265 patients and 167 family members of TB patients) from the Flora Valisno de Siojo Dialysis Center were given free chest x-ray during the activity wherein 128 of them were found to be presumptive TB cases on Chest Xray.

Some 200 people were tested using GeneXpert and 163 of them were found to be positive for TB. In coordination with the Manila City Health Office, those who were found to have TB were referred to the nearest health facility for proper treatment and care.

The Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center is a FAST-implementing facility since 2019. USAID’s TB Platforms introduced the FAST (Finding TB Actively, Separating safely, and Treating) effectively which includes actively seeking and identifying hospital visitors, patients, and health care workers with TB symptoms, testing them, and educating them about TB.

TB Platforms has developed and has scaled up FAST to 184 health facilities as an infection prevention approach to reduce TB transmission.

The USAID’s TB Platforms Project aims to strengthen TB interventions at the regional, local government, and community levels to increase TB case detection and treatment success rates. TB Platforms works in three regions – National Capitol Region, Region 4A and Region 3 – top three regions with high TB burden,

The project’s ongoing strategy includes improving the reach of TB activities in multiple ways – such as ensuring that all patients visiting a health facility are screened for TB – engaging with private sector providers to offer screening and diagnostic services, increasing the use of digital platforms, and supporting approaches that will strengthen community-based TB service delivery, including social and behavior change communication strategies to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos are afraid to seek healthcare at the nearest health facility. USAID’s TB Platforms collaborates with local government units (LGUs) and health facilities to reach out to Filipino families and provide basic information about TB and COVID-19 as the project team explains the need to seek healthcare immediately especially if experiencing either TB or COVID-19 symptoms.

The have LGUs started to integrate their TB and COVID-19 response to address these concerns. USAID’s TB Platforms also equip healthcare workers and LGU staff on infection prevention and control both for TB and COVID-19.

Likewise, USAID’s TB Platforms led various intensified case finding efforts as well as active case finding activities in its demonstration sites in collaboration with health offices and hospitals. The project is grateful for the overwhelming support of their public and private partners that pave the way for the project team to pursue their TB screenings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) has been supporting USAID’s TB Platforms public outreach through information dissemination since March 2020.

The agency also uses its social media platforms and website to disseminate information and inspiring stories of TB patients and TB survivors, as well as updates of USAID’s TB Platforms active case finding for TB and community activities in the National Capital Region. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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