City council okays law to control TB

The Sangguniang Panglungsod approved on Friday an ordinance adopting the Tuberculosis Control Program to effectively curb and further halt the disease.

The measure is aimed to strengthen and support all activities of the program to attain a tuberculosis-free community was approved unanimously during the regular session, presided by City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio S. Veloso.

Committee on Health Chair Eliezer L. Borja, sponsor of the ordinance, recognizes that tuberculosis remains a major public health concern in the City and that it has an annual mortality rate of 0.8 percent.

The passage of the ordinance shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of the City TB Control Program through allocation of sufficient funds for the City TB program.

The ordinance also assures a proper implementation of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) and Directly Observed Treatment Short Course Chemotherapy (DOTS.

The implementation of the policies aim for the detection rate of at least 75 percent and a treatment success rate of at least 80 percent is also the aim of the ordinance.

Funds will be allocated towards the investment for quality improvement and certification and accreditation of the LGU health facilities as DOTS centers, ensuring that the LGU supports the monitoring, supervision, evaluation, training requirements, and NTP drug supplies.

The ordinance also seeks networks, inter-agency links and partnerships with key stakeholders for a more comprehensive NTP implementation.

WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS?

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often impacting the lungs. The good thing is that TB is curable and reversible.

TB is a disease that can spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.

To get TB, a person, says the World Health Organization (WHO), needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

WHO said, “about one-third of the world’s population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with disease and cannot transmit the disease”.

The health organization said: “people infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10 percent”.

People who smoke and those with compromised immune system such as HIV, diabetes, or malnutrition may have high risk of getting TB.

Symptoms of the disease may start with cough, fever, night sweats, weight loss among others, which may be mild for many months.

Infected with TB can infect up to 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.

Fatality may come if there is no proper treatment. It is said up to 66 percent of people ill with TB may perish.

The WHO said since 2000, 53 million lives have been saved through effective diagnosis and treatment.

The health organization said active, drug-sensitive TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.

“The vast majority of TB cases can be cured when medicines are provided and taken properly,” said the WHO. (Dave Albarado with reports from City Council PR)

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