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More TB task forces eyed in Iloilo City

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By Philippine News Agency

The city government here is eyeing the establishment of more tuberculosis (TB) task forces in Iloilo City to cover its 180 barangays.

TB TASK FORCE. National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) coordinator Celine Divinagracia says they plan to establish Tuberculosis task forces in 180 barangays of Iloilo City. (Photo by Perla Lena)

TB TASK FORCE. National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) coordinator Celine Divinagracia says they plan to establish Tuberculosis task forces in 180 barangays of Iloilo City. (Photo by Perla Lena) (PNA/MANILA BULLETIN)

To date, 28 barangays have their own task forces but they are planning to “saturate all 180 barangays”, said Celina Divinagracia, nurse coordinator for the national tuberculosis program (NTP) of the City Health Office (CHO).

The task force will carry out the information and education campaign about the infection in their respective localities and likewise make the necessary referrals for TB treatment.
Nearly 20 percent of their case findings in 2017 were through task forces, she added in a press conference held Tuesday.

Last year, the CHO registered 2,433 all forms of TB cases from nine district health centers, Western Visayas Medical Center, West Visayas State University Medical Center, Iloilo Doctors Hospital, Iloilo St. Paul Hospital, and the Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc.

Divinagracia added that the missing link or those who did not pass the public or government facilities is being supplied by private hospitals based in the city.

The CHO also conducts an annual caravan at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), which has already recorded 12 smear positive cases.

To date, there are two cases of drug-susceptible TB and three drug-resistant TB cases, all under treatment.

Divinagracia also added that the business and transport sectors and hotel and restaurants have guidelines on how to handle their employees with TB infection.

Her appeal is for the city’s business process and licensing permit to require all businesses to have a policy on HIV, TB and other infectious diseases.

Meanwhile, the celebration of World TB Day on March 24 will be marked by a photo exhibit at SM City on March 18, and a fun run to be held by the BJMP on March 24.

A TB screening will also be conducted in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro in a yet to be announced date.

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