TACLOBAN CITY-As the country observes National Tuberculosis Awareness Month this August, the Tacloban City Health Office (CHO) has noted that TB cases in the city are increasing every year, encouraging the public to take proactive steps on the prevention, early detection, and treatment of the latter.

Acting local health officer Dr. Danilo Ecarma said that Tacloban has a “high burden of tuberculosis” urging them to scale up and sustain their TB Control Program to intensify active case finding and complete treatment.

In an interview on Wednesday, the official declared that in 2022 approximately 1,600 were diagnosed with the condition compared to 2021 with only 483 cases, adding that this is a “public health problem” in the city.

Per records of CHO, the count of TB illness is at 617 (as of August 17, 2023) and is seen to continue to rise since more Taclobanons are being screened each day.

CHO Multi-Services Clinic serving as TB DOTS (Directly-Observed Therapy, Short-Course) facility is open for consultation from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon every Tuesday and Thursday, and provision of treatment is given free of charge by the government.

Medicines and other assistance are supplied by the health department so there is no reason that an individual with TB ailment will not be treated.

The official reiterated anew that TB is preventable and curable which is why those who might experience the signs and symptoms of the condition such as persistent coughing for two weeks, lack of appetite, weight loss, and coughing up blood are recommended to have themselves checked at the nearest primary care facilities.

Transmission of TB is spread from one person to another through the air when infected individuals expel droplets, by means of coughing, sneezing or even speaking.

Based on historical data, a TB patient can infect 10-15 persons in a year, Dr. Ecarma disclosed as he called household contacts to get medical care as well as early as possible to reduce the incidence and deaths of the highly contagious airborne disease in the country.
The 2022 statistics of the National Tuberculosis Control Program of the Department of Health recorded 372, 367 notified cases of drug-susceptible tuberculosis (DSTB) and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB).

Under TB-DOTS, a patient’s drug intake and condition are regularly monitored, citing that around 85 percent of people with the said illness can be successfully treated with a 4 or 6-month treatment session at their assigned facility.

Other primary care facilities in Tacloban include Abucay District Health Center (DHC), Diit DHC, Sagkahan DHC, San Jose DHC, V&G DHC, New Kawayan DHC, and Sto. Niño DHC.