Increase in TB cases linked to medicine lack

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COTABATO CITY—Health authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have reported an increase in the number of cases of tuberculosis (TB) since 2010.

The problem is being complicated by the lack of medicine to treat patients, according to Maguindanao provincial health officer Tahir Sulaik.

Sulaik said he has been asking the central office of the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila for TB drugs because at least 50 patients need immediate medication.

But he said there has been no response to his request so far.

“I hope the Philippine Daily Inquirer can call the attention of Health Secretary (Enrique Ona),” he said.

Lack of medicine

ARMM Health Secretary Kadil Sinolinding Jr. said from 2010 to 2012, the regional health office has recorded at least 100,000 TB cases in the ARMM’s four provinces.

He said during the period, at least 40 patients had died. Some died because of lack of medicines.

“We have been experiencing delayed supply for five months now,” Sinolinding said.

Sinolinding said he was told that there was a problem affecting the shipment of medicines from Manila.

“What seems to be wrong with the DOH?” Sulaik said. Charlie Señase, Inquirer Mindanao

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