By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 01:17 PM August 21, 2020
Image: Harvard Health/Harvard University

Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may have killed many Filipinos already, but the figure is way far below the deaths credited to tuberculosis (TB).

This sums up the gist of the Kapihan sa PIA which tackled the Provincial TB program that was sidelined as communities took Covid-19 seriously.

Like the dreaded Covid-19, tuberculosis (TB) is highly contagious and may infect anyone unsuspecting.
Like Covid-19 which takes a sophisticated medical laboratory analysis to confirm the virus’ presence, it would take a good xray and sputum examination in a laboratory to confirm the presence of the mycobacterium causing the disease.

Like Covid, TB bacteria can be airborne and could infect individuals who are in close proximity to the sick person.

Unlike Covid which can manifest within 14 days, it may take years before a latent tuberculosis can be manifested in a person.

Like Covid which has killed thousands of Filipinos, tuberculosis also ranks among the country’s top five killers.

Unlike Covid, there is already an established treatment against tuberculosis, but not everyone is keen in getting the free treatment.

Like Covid, one can protect itself from tuberculosis by wearing face masks and by keeping a safe distance enough to be spared from the droplets one spews when coughing or sneezing.

But then, tuberculosis is among the leading causes of disease and deaths in the country, bared Department of Health nurse from the Regional Office and assigned at the Provincial Health Office, during the recent Kapihan sa PIA aired at DyTR and 92.7 Bee FM.

Nurse Arnold Bongcac Jr., in fact names tuberculosis and pneumonia in fifth and third among the country’s top disease in morbidity and mortality.

In fact, information from the Gallares Hospital bared that several of those people treated relative to Covid in Bohol have shown lung infections, telltale signs of the bacterial infection, said Bohol TB Program coordinator and nurse Polizena Rances during the same Kapihan.

The Kapihan, solely dedicated to commemorate August as the Lung Month, tackled pneumonia and tuberculosis: two diseases that affect the lungs.

Last year, we had 7,528 cases of tuberculosis but so far, there are only about 3,061 of these cases with the patient coming out for the free treatment, bared Bongcac.

This also means that there at 4,467 individuals with tuberculosis who 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, he would stop from spreading the bacteria, Rances, who heads the Provincial TB Program in line with the National TB program said.

Still struggling with 40.66% case detection rate for TB, the Provincial Program coordinator bared that there are free mass screening and diagnostic sputum microscopy that one can avail.

Still battling with beating TB as with the misconceptions people have against the disease, the public health nurse said there is a misplaced stigma that is keeping people from coming out.

Families may hide their patient, the problem with that is the patient can unwittingly transfer the bacteria and infect those who are not as cautious. (rachiu/PIA-7/Bohol)

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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