Tuberculosis remains a health issue

LEGAZPI CITY --- Tuberculosis (TB) remains a health issue in Bicol that needs to be addressed as close to 11,000 people are suffering from this lung disease, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol said.

DOH data indicate that 10,514 TB cases were recorded in 2018. Of this number, 278 were reported to have died from the infectious disease, Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH regional director, disclosed.

Vera said that for this year, DOH is still collating the data reported from various provincial health units in Bicol for the first semester of this year.

Out of the 10,514 cases of tuberculosis recorded last year in Bicol, Camarines Sur has the highest number of cases with 3,685, followed by Albay with 2,756 cases; Masbate has 1,537 cases, Sorsogon – 1,278, Camarines Norte – 959, and Catanduanes – 399.

According to the 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) report, TB is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and it is the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent.

Vera, however said the good news is that “as of June 2019, the Treatment success rate for TB in the whole region is 93 percent, and we are hoping and aiming to have a drastic drop on cases of TB and fully prevent death caused by the disease.”

“TB is a curable disease and through combined efforts we believe that we will be able to accelerate, and sustain TB response,” he said.

In Bicol, among the leading killer diseases are heart disease, pneumonia, hypertension, tumors, tuberculosis, trauma/injuries, kidney, cerebrovascular, diabetes and septicemia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) report said a total of one million Filipinos or one percent of the national population have active TB and many among them do not even know that they are carriers of the disease.

Around 27,000 Filipinos annually or 70 Filipinos daily die from TB, which is supposed to be a highly-curable disease.