Governor Hilario P. Davide III calls all province-run hospitals to act as Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) centers to help fight tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease listed as among the leading cause of death in the country.
Through an executive order (EO), Davide urged the four provincial and 12 district hospitals to adopt new strategies and polices in the prevention and control of the infectious disease in line with the revised guidelines under the National TB Control Program (NTP) of the Department of Health.
Of the 16 hospitals managed by the province, only the provincial hospital in Carcar City is DOTS ready.
A TB-DOTS is a disease control method which comprises of five components: government intervention, case detection, standardized treatment regimen administered by a health worker, systematic reporting and recording of treatment results for assessments and steady supply of medicines until treatment is complete .
The EO has noted the low turnout of reported cases in the province, thus new policies are needed to increase the case detection rate.
“In order to improve the case finding of tuberculosis, there is a need to adopt new polices and strategies in the implementation of the program through collaboration of all health facilities, both government and private,” the EO reads.
Aside from becoming DOTS centers, hospitals are directed to keep proper recording and reporting systems following the NTP forms; formulate annual TB plan with budget allocation; ensure the sustainability of the program; and set schedules for regular review of the plan.
Hospitals are also mandated to create a TB-DOTS organizational structure, conduct continuing education of the tuberculosis team with the participation of all personnel and work out infection control strategies.
To make the anti-TB efforts effective, chiefs of hospitals are tasked to coordinate and collaborate with the Provincial Health Office and other concerned agencies in monitoring visits and review of program implementation.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis that commonly affects the lungs. Transmitted from person to person through droplets and air, TB symptoms include coughing, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
The disease, however, is treatable with a six-month intake of antibiotics.
Based on the 2009 Philippines Health Statistics, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the country and is the eighth leading source of sickness as of 2010. (Kelvin Cañizares)