BusinessWorld (Philippines) (08.13.03) - Monday, August 18,
An average of 75 people die from tuberculosis every day in the
Philippines, according to Department of Health statistics. The
nation has the seventh highest number of TB cases worldwide.
Determined to increase public awareness about the disease,
ReachOut Foundation launched three 30-second television ads,
which began airing last June. The ads reveal three instances
in the life of "Tibor," a person with TB.
ReachOut's first ad, "Pila," tells TB patients that there are
more things to be ashamed of than having TB. The ad shows the
faces of different characters lining up at a bus terminal. As
the camera pans the faces, captions appear - a cell phone
snatcher, a househelp beater, an adulterer, and TB-infected
Tibor. The ad ends with encouragement for people with TB to
The infomercial also addresses the stereotype that only thin,
frail people who cough incessantly have TB. It is a stereotype
that has caused many Filipinos to underestimate the
seriousness of TB, despite the fact that 5 percent of
households could be infected, and almost 75 percent of
Filipinos carry inactive TB bacteria.
The second ad, "Bahay," shows Tibor at home with his wife and
two children, enjoying a meal together. It expresses the
importance of family care and support during treatment, in an
attempt to end a common practice of isolating TB patients from
the rest of the family. Many are unaware that with successful
treatment, TB patients can no longer infect others and can
lead very normal lives. The ad also dismisses the belief that
TB can be cured only in hospitals, because the disease can be
treated even at home.
Set in a health center, the third ad features the health
worker and doctor as front-liners in the fight against TB. The
ad shows Tibor recovering from TB and shows how constant
medical attention contributes to his health.