Zamboanga celebrates World TB Day PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00

The City Government of Zamboanga City through the Zamboanga Hermosa TB Council (ZHTBC) celebrated World TB Day last Monday, March 24, with a public awareness campaign and a medical mission for the IDPs (internally displaced persons) at the Joaquin Enriquez Grandstand.  This year’s theme is “Stop TB: Makialam, Tara Na.”

The program started with a program at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) highlighted with the installation/re-installation of Council members. The composition of the TB Council are City Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar as chairperson, Dr. Rodel Agbulos as vice- chair, Councilor VP Elago (SP chair on Health), Dr. Nimfa Torrizo (Center for Health Development), Marcelino Medina (ZCMC Medical Department), Dr. Dionisio Apolinario (Philippine College of Physicians), Dr. Cathy Garcia (Medical Sector), Josefina Bue (Nursing sector), Candelario Garcia (Laboratory sector), Dr. Mansueto Sabellina (Philippine Medical Association), Sheila Covarrubias (Media sector), Pastor Berlie Yap (Religious sector), Edwin To (business sector), Ronald Rellosa (Civic- President, Rotary Clubs Zambo), Dr. Milabel Ho and Dr. Mary Ruth Yanga (educational sector) and Dr. Timothy Arquiza and Rogelio Ruste (Non-government organization- PBSP and TB Task Force President, respectively).

World TB Day is a worldwide campaign to increase public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.  This day commemorates in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus.

In her message, Mayor Salazar said that people must know that TB (tuberculosis) can be prevented and is curable. She thanked the different sectors for supporting the city’s commitment in the fight against TB. According to City Health Officer Dr. Agbulos, TB ranks 7th in the leading causes of deaths and 16th cause of illness in our city, and points out that one of the major factors that hinder the control of the disease is the poor health-seeking behavior of the people caused by inadequate knowledge. “It has caused late case detection and treatment of the disease, as well as poor treatment compliance,” Dr. Agbulos lamented.

Dr. Agbulos, in a good news, shared that the fight against TB in Zamboanga City has dramatically improved as shown in the decrease in the number of cases, primarily due to the availability of anti-TB medicines in barangay health centers. He warned that that the most susceptible to TB are people with HIV, overcrowding and malnutrition, illegal drug injection, homeless, medically underprivileged, ethnic minority and health care providers. That’s why, aside from the free consultation, X-ray, collection and examination of sputum among TB symptomatics and distribution of IEC materials for IDPs, HIV testing was also conducted.

By Dante Corteza