Quezon City’s anti-tuberculosis efforts has paid off with the city achieving a better cure rate for TB cases compared with the cure rate target set for the national level.
Statistics provided by the city health department showed that QC was able to attain a cure rate of 84% last year, which is way past the 75% combined rating accomplished by different public-private TB treatment units in the country.
The rating achieved by QC is only one percent (1%) short of the 85% universal cure rate provided under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which is the basic international policy roadmap of the United Nations, more specifically, in reducing mortality and morbidity rates for tuberculosis.
City health department head Dr. Antonieta Inumerable attributed the achievement to the city government’s increased funding support to ensure the uninterrupted supply of quality-assured anti-TB medicines and other supplies for TB control activities, in partnership with different non-government organizations such as TBLINC, the USAID-funded Phil. Tuberculosis Society, Inc. and the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Agency (JATA).
In 2009, the city set aside P4.49 million for its TB prevention program with P3 million spent for the procurement of medicines.
However, despite improved statistics, the city government continues to adopt strategies to fight the dreaded disease, which to date, ranked sixth (6th) among the ten leading causes of death and fifth (5th) leading cause of illness in Quezon City.
Chief among these strategies was the passage of Ordinance 1845 in May 2008 which provides for the adoption of a comprehensive and unified policy for TB control in the city.
To date, the draft of the implementing rules and regulations of the ordinance has already been endorsed by the Quezon City TB Management Council to the city council, in particular, to the committee on health chaired by Councilor Jessica Castelo-Daza.
After passing through the council, the IRR shall be given a stamp of approval of Mayor Herbert Bautista, whose administration vowed to support efforts to make QC a TB-free community.
In Quezon City, there is already a multi-sector alliance promoting public-private partnership to control the spread of tuberculosis, which is a chronic infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacteria transmitted through airbone droplets from the sputum of persons with pulmonary tuberculosis while coughing or sneezing.
According to health experts, TB is a curable disease. However, if left untreated, it can lead to a disabling condition and even death. Also, partial treatment of cases may cause multi-drug resistance that can lead to non-cure. -30- Precy/Maureen Quinones, PAISO