DOH ties up with private sector for TB control program in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY (August 18) – The Department of Health (DOH) has enlisted private support for the national government’s tuberculosis (TB) control program through an advocacy symposium for non-health care providers.

The forum, set on August 23 at the Northview Hotel here, will gather together a multi-sectoral group for capacity building process that the Philippine Coalition against Tuberculosis (PhilCat) will provide.

The PhilCat is a non-government organization and a sub-recipient of a grant of the Philippine Business for Social Progress from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Founded in 1994, the PhilCat partnered with the DOH to lead collective efforts in TB control.

Dr. Walberg Samonte, provincial health officer, said public and private collaboration is vital to achieve a successful control program.

“The program targets an increase in case detection and cure rates by engaging the private sector in our program implementation,” he said.

Samonte said Philcat was tasked primarily to organize and install the Provincial Coordinating Council for Public-Private Mix Dots (PCC-PPMD) in 44 provinces across the country to boost the government’s national tuberculosis program.

Both PhilCat and the DOH enlisted Ilocos Norte in 2010 as one of the expansion sites for the program’s implementation.

In its report during the first health summit in June, the provincial health office said TB occupies the 10th slot in the leading causes of deaths in Ilocos Norte.

Samonte said the province was found to be poor in TB case detection and exhibited a low detection rate.

The provincial government had set in place intervention measures including the accreditation of rural health units as TB DOTS centers.
As of June this year, the PHO has accredited 91.3 percent or 21 of 23 RHUs as TB DOTS centers. (PIA Ilocos Norte)