South Cotabato detects 810 cases of TB
KORONADAL CITY – Health authorities in South Cotabato have detected 810 cases of tuberculosis (TB) since January this year as they ramped up campaigns on other diseases after concerns over COVID-19 dwindled.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Jr., chief of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said that mobile teams had been deployed across the province and down to the barangay level for massive free chest X-rays for TB case detection.
He said the patients found positive for TB were among the 4,200 individuals from 55 villages in the province who voluntarily availed of their mobile health services in the last five months.
“These patients are now getting treatment using modern facilities,” Aturdido said during a news conference.
He explained that the practice of collecting sputum was no longer used but a more convenient mobile X-ray machine that health workers bring to the villages.
When asked why there is a huge number of TB patients, Aturdido believed that many residents were either unaware they have the disease or have no access to diagnostic services and treatment.
Aturdido admitted that the IPHO mobile team had difficulty convincing patients to submit sputum samples for TB testing.
IPHO utilized the mobile x-ray machine to detect the now curable disease as remedial steps.
Aside from TB testing, mobile health workers offer free HIV and leprosy testing in far-flung communities using the mobile clinic.
In 20 of 199 villages of South Cotabato, at least 1,000 individuals availed of HIV testing, and 34 were positive for the virus.
Aturdido said the IPHO team regularly visits “hot spots” or night entertainment areas for HIV testing.
He also announced that IPHO had established the AIDS Core Team Clinic, providing one-stop-shop treatment, care, and counseling services for HIV and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) patients.
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