TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 31 (PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH) Eastern Visayas has called on all partners and the public to join the global effort in eliminating tuberculosis (TB) as a public health burden.

During the press conference in celebration of the World TB Day held Tuesday in Palo, Leyte, members of the Regional Coordinating Committee of the National TB Program in Eastern Visayas enjoined everyone to help find, treat and cure all people with tuberculosis in the region to ensure that anyone suffering from this communicable disease has access to diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Officials from the Department Of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) and some private organizations in the region including the media gathered at Palo Municipal Hall, Palo Leyte to renew their commitment with the promise to help the health workers in finding people afflicted with TB to accelerate progress towards the end of the year.

DOH Region 8 TB Coordinator Susan Dolina is encouraging all with signs and symptoms to go to the nearest accredited TB DOTS facility to be treated.

“Region 8 has the most number of TB DOTS facilities in the country,” Dolina added.

In the same occasion, Philhealth Regional Vice-President Walter Bacareza formally launched the agency’s new program dubbed as TB care incentive program to be implemented in coordination with the local government units (LGUs) in the region.

Under the program, Philhealth is offering a P4,000 TB Dots package to sustain the medication of every patient who will undergo treatment.

Last year, 9, 070 cases were reported at the Department of Health Regional office 8.

March 24 is World TB Day commemorated globally to celebrate continued efforts to address the challenges for its control.

TB is a disease caused by bacteria that spread through air from person to person and if not treated properly, it can be fatal.

Some symptoms are bad cough that lasts three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, coughing up blood or sputum, weakness or fatigue, weight loss, no appetite, chills and fever. (ajc/cba/PIA-8)