Rey Chiu, PIA Bohol | Posted on Aug. 16, 2020
While the province of Bohol and the rest of the world are battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, other infectious diseases still remain a challenge to health authorities here citing low detection rate, especially for tuberculosis (TB).
Bohol TB Program coordinator and nurse Polizena Rances bared that the province has a 40.66% detection rate despite the availability of free mass screening and diagnostic sputum microscopy that the public may avail.
The factors that could have contributed to this is also “a misplaced stigma that is keeping people from coming out”.
During the “Kapihan sa PIA” program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Bohol, nurse Arnold Bongcac Jr. revealed that out of the 7,528 cases of TB recorded in the province, only 3,061 patients with TB are coming out for the free treatment.
This means that there at least 4,467 individuals with this disease that are “freely going out, maybe innocently riding with you in air-conditioned buses and vans, every cough or sneeze or even when droplets fly, they have the capacity to infect everyone with them riding in the public transportation”.
“Most of these people may not know they already are bacteria carriers like COVID, but having cough for more than a couple of days should be a good warning sign,” said Rances.
“People have to know that TB can be treated for free, and all it would take is six months of diligently taking the programmatic approach therapy and that it is okay because once one starts treatment, this would stop the bacteria from spreading,” Rances added.
TB, according to the Department of Health (DOH), still remains as the top diseases in the country that causes morbidity and mortality. (rachiu/PIA-7/Bohol)