Provincial Government of Bulacan

Bulacan kicks off TB mass screening in BPJ

CITY OF MALOLOS – In line with the observance of Lung Month this August, the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Public Health Office held the kick off ceremony of the TB Mass Screening in Bulacan Provincial Jail in this city, Friday morning.

In partnership with the Department of Health-Regional Office 3, USAID-IMPACT project, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the mass screening that will cater to more than 3,000 detainees, jail guards and staff will run for eight weeks starting September 12, 2016.

The project aims to improve case detection of drug susceptible and drug-resistant TB cases and ensure that they are successfully treated in recognition that places of incarceration harbor TB that if left untreated, threatens not only the inmates but also the prison staff, visitors and the larger community.

Vice Gov. Daniel R. Fernando explained to the detainees that their health is as important as the well being of people outside jail.

“Hindi kayo inuna para gawing experiment. Mahalaga sa amin ang inyong kalusugan kaya naman ito ay libre hatid sa atin ng iba’t ibang ahensya. Sinuman ay nagkakaroon ng pagkukulang at naniniwala kami na lahat ng nandito ay handang magbago at magbalik loob sa Diyos,” Fernando said.

Dr. Allan Fabella, Service Delivery Specialist of the USAID-IMPACT, shared the process that the detainees will undertake in the coming weeks of screening such as interview for the signs and symptoms, x-ray, the new strategy of examining the sputum or the Gene Xpert, if positive, another session of interview and orientation of the medication and finally the medication itself.

Meanwhile, P/S Supt. Fernando S. Villanueva (Ret.), jail warden of BPJ, reported the efforts that they are implementing in the penitentiary.

“Since 2005, aktibo na ang TB in Jail. Noong 2014, sinimulang magkaroon ng hiwalay na selda ang mga may TB at may MDR bilang bahagi ng maigting na paglaban dito,” Villanueva said.

At present, 43 TB patients and one MDR patient are under medication.

Moreover, Board Member Therese Cheryll Ople said that she will try her best to lobby to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to increase the meal budget of the BPJ from P37 per meal to P50.