Nearly seven decades after tuberculosis killed the country’s first Commonwealth President, the dreaded disease continues to plague the nation, killing at least 73 Filipinos daily and affecting 600,000 more as carriers of the TB bacteria.
Rep. Angelina Tan, a neophyte lawmaker representing the province named after TB victim and the late President Manuel L. Quezon, warned that the killer disease will haunt Filipinos many decades more unless government carries out a national plan that would eliminate TB.
A medical doctor, Tan filed House Bill (HB) No. 259 mandating the Department of Health (DoH) to develop and implement a national plan that will ensure that new medical trends and applications against TB will be put in place in the country.
HB 259 also provides tie-ups with international organizations concerned with tuberculosis control for possible funding and assistance.
“A national plan should focus on the prevention, detection, treatment, and control of the disease,” Tan said.
“TB disease is highly contagious as each person with active TB can spread the disease to 10 other Filipinos each year. There is an estimated 200,000 to 600,000 Filipinos who have active TB aside from the fact that an estimated 80 percent of them have latent TB,” she stressed. (Ben R. Rosario)