CITY OF MALOLOS – Bulakenyo jeepney and tricycle drivers showed their support in the observance of World Tuberculosis Day by taking a pledge of commitment to join the program implemented by the Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Health Office-Public Health held at the Balagtas Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city, Friday morning.
With the theme “END TB: Sama-samang tuldukan ang TB”, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said the program aims to create public awareness on Tuberculosis and stressed that tricycle and jeepney drivers are also susceptible to the disease.
Based on the research of specialists, mass transport is one of the places where one can possibly get TB since public transportations are congested and has inadequate ventilation.
“Transport companies are ideal channels for providing correct and accurate TB messages through the practice of showing videos either aboard bus units, vans, ferries or in transport terminals through TV units in Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA), airports and bus terminals in some areas,” Dr. Jose Ezra Rostrata, area facilitator of USAID IMPACT PROJECT, said.
Dr. Jocelyn E. Gomez, head of PHO-PH, said that contagious diseases like TB can be prevented from spreading or acquiring if the people are educated about the said diseases.
Meanwhile, one of the members of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (JODA) was grateful for the additional and helpful information that was shared to them.
“Marami kaming natutunan lalo na ‘yung mga maling paniniwala na nahahawa ang TB sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng kubyertos na ginamit ng maysakit na TB, mali pala ‘yon. Bitbit ang mga IEC na ipinamigay sa amin na ipamimigay din namin, mga poster na maididikit sa mga pinamamasada namin, makakatulong kami para makapagpalaganap ng kaalaman at ng ‘di na dumami pa ang nagkaka-TB,” Ricardo Turla of JODA said.
The said activity was implemented with the help of the Bulacan Multisectoral Alliance (BMSA) for TB Control in partnership with Innovations and Multisectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of TB (IMPACT) Project led by the Philippine Business for Social Progress that seeks to combat TB in the country.
Previous BMSA activities were Talakayang Bulakenyo regarding tuberculosis, Motorcade/Caravan on TB awareness, TB Summit/TB awareness Day, TB Kids’ Fair, Bulacan Lung Month Celebration with senior citizens and TB Mass Screening at Bulacan Provincial Jail.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.9 million people worldwide died from the disease last 2016. In the Philippines, 63 Filipinos die of TB everyday.
Based on the PHO-PH records in 2016, there were 3,611 bacteriologically confirmed TB cases and 150 previously treated in the province.
The PHO-PH advised everyone to visit the nearest health centers if they are experiencing any symptoms like sweating every afternoon and night, loss of appetite and loss of weight, more than two weeks of cough among others.