Docs see good news in increase in cases of TB


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The number of people afflicted with tuberculosis (TB) in Northern Mindanao is increasing, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

This, however, meant an improvement in the monitoring of health officials, according to a regional DOH executive.

Emiliano Galban Jr., DOH spokesperson for Northern Midnanao, said the increase in reporting TB cases meant that more people are now becoming more aware of and seeking treatment for the highly communicable disease.

Galban said the days of shame in having TB are numbered.

Jun Langajed, of the German Doctors Hospital’s Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB, said in the early part of the 19th century, the stigma suffered by TB victims was deeply associated with the lack of medicine against the bacteria that causes the disease.

“So TB victims are being kept in isolation even by their families,” Langajed said.

Dr. Rosalind Vianzon, National Tuberculosis Program manager, said that as of 2011, the number of TB cases in Northern Mindanao was nearly 8,800.

Vianzon said the figure was 1,000 more than the number of cases monitored in the region in 2010.

Dr. Everly Magsayo, Northern Mindanao TB program manager, said because the DOH can now keep track of TB cases, the possibility of eliminating the disease for good was high.

“It shows that the increase in the number of cases means more chances of eliminating TB for good,” she said.

Vianzon said there was no reason for TB patients not to recover from the disease because “the medication for TB is free.”

Vianzon said the early detection is the most important stage in curing TB. “The earlier that people seek help, the better,” Vianzon said.

Langajed said medical advances have made fighting TB easier. The bacteria that causes TB, Langajed said, could be killed in as short as two weeks. “We have more advanced drugs now,” he said. Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao

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