GlobalPost (Boston, MA) (04.04.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
Doctors and nurses in Central Luzon, the Philippines, recently received training on TB prevention in children. According to Leonita Gorgolon, regional director of Central Luzon’s Center for Health Development (CHD), the training will strengthen TB prevention and control in children ages 0 to 14 years by improving knowledge of the disease and helping participants develop skills in administering and interpreting tuberculin skin tests. Gorgolon noted that children in contact with TB have high risk of contracting the latent infection that, if not detected and controlled, can develop later into TB.
As part of the training, participants received the standard policy for case finding and treatment of childhood TB. They were trained on how to trace children at risk of developing TB for preventive therapy and inclusion of all childhood TB cases in the National TB Program recording and reporting activities using the Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS).
TB cases in Central Luzon have decreased significantly to 8,680 for the first nine months of 2012, down from 15,696 cases in the same period of 2011. CHD attributed the decrease to PhilHealth’s accreditation of 18 rural health units and city health centers as DOTS facilities and the Department of Health’s certification of 10 other rural health units and city health centers.
Gorgolon mentioned the role of the local leaders who have implemented programs and projects in their respective districts toward making the region TB-free. These initiatives include an increased health budget, inclusion of anti-TB in the provincial/municipal investment plan for health, and increased local government-sponsored enrollment of indigents. The Department of Health also requested support from the private sector to fulfill the goal of a TB-free nation.