Net 25 TV features #EndTB partnerships in Metro Manila

PASIG CITY, June 5 (PIA) -- To raise public awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and the availability of free TB services amid the pandemic, USAID’s TB Platforms and Net25 Television have been producing special episodes through its “Pambansang Almusal” early morning talk show. 

Dr. Thomas Dela Cruz of USAID’s TB Platforms appears on Net25's Pambansang Almusal to drumbeat the #EndTB campaign amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed screengrab)

Local chief executives from partner local government units (LGUs), #EndTB Ambassadors as well as representatives from the Department of Health have been invited as resource s to inform the public about how LGUs support the #EndTB campaign amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.

In one of its episodes, Dr. Thomas Dela Cruz, Community Mobilization Officer of USAID’s TB Platforms shared how the project team collaborated with Caloocan City Government and Department of Education for the roll out of the “Tibay ng Dibdib” online storytelling and the conduct of active case finding activities for TB in 54 public elementary schools in Caloocan City.

Dr. Dela Cruz expressed the project’s gratitude to Caloocan City Mayor Caloocan for his commitment to make TB a priority amid the pandemic.

Another TV program dubbed as “Balitalakayan” hosted by Net 25 TV’s CEO and award-winning broadcast journalist Weng dela Fuente featured USAID’s TB Platforms initiatives to find and treat Filipinos with TB amid the pandemic. 

In its special COVID-19 and TB episode, the show shared how the project provided technical assistance to Taguig City Government for the launch of the integrated COVID-19 vaccination and TB screening program in four major malls in the city.

USAID’s TB Platforms Field Operations Area Manager for NCR, Dr. Hansel Ybañez shared that during the stakeholders meeting in Taguig City early this year, Mayor Lino Cayetano expressed his commitment to make TB a priority with the approval of the TB Contact Center for 31 health centers. 

Dr. Ybañez also mentioned that USAID’s TB Platforms donated 31 mobile phones for the TB Contact Center to boost the city’s local TB program. The local government unit assigned a dedicated staff per health facility tasked to receive incoming calls of stakeholders, answer queries related to the TB program as well as make outgoing calls such as monitoring enlisted TB patients’ treatment adherence and adverse drug reactions.

He also stressed that TB nurse coordinators play an important role in monitoring treatment adherence of TB patients and reporting the challenges faced by TB patients during the course of the treatment especially during these most challenging times.

The City Government of Taguig has been conducting home visits to TB patients and the City Health Office staff are instructed to deliver TB medicines door-to-door to TB patients who cannot visit the health facility due to health and community quarantine limitations.

Free chest x-ray for Taguig City residents. (Contributed photo)

Likewise, Dr. Ybañez shared that USAID’s TB Platforms Project is supporting the implementation of the integrated COVID-19 vaccination and TB screening in Taguig City. He mentioned that Taguig City’s Four Strategic Actions include the Systematic Mass Approach to Responsible Testing (SMART) Program for COVID-19 disease detection, Risk Assessment for Non-Communicable (or lifestyle-related) Disease Prevention and Control, Tuberculosis (TB) Detection, Care and Treatment, and its ongoing Vaccination against COVID-19.

Ms. dela Fuente commended USAID’s TB Platforms for its strategic partnerships and cited that Net 25 TV will continue to support the information dissemination campaign for TB through its various programs.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno was also part of the episode. Mayor Moreno detailed how local government units in Mindanao are coping with the impacts of COVID-19. He highlighted during his interview how local chief executives can influence stakeholders to adhere to the minimum health protocols and promote infection prevention and control both for COVID-19 and TB.

USAID’s TB Platforms started its partnership with Net25 Television since March 2020 when the Philippine Government declared the COVID-19 community lockdown. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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