LINGAYEN – Pangasinan is leading the way in bringing together all stakeholders in the province to unite against the total eradication of tuberculosis (TB) disease.
In the 2nd Pangasinan Provincial Health Summit which is in partnership with the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) IMPACT-PBSP Project and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held July 11 at the Sison Auditorium here, Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. said that the provincial government has set its sight on the eradication of TB which he hinted as ‘poor man’s disease.
The governor said when he assumed his post as the provincial chief executive in 2007, tuberculosis ranked 4th among the top 10 leading causes of death among Pangasinenses.
He disclosed that most TB patients come from the poorest family. Thus, he stressed that with such rate, the provincial government was prompted to first advocate poverty alleviation by initiating various development projects to include health reforms specifically in the grassroots level.
He said that last year, official records show that TB has become a minor disease sliding to number 9 in list of killer diseases in the province. The incidence of poverty rate in Pangasinan also declined sharply by 9.5%.
Gov. Espino said that his administration has seriously addressed the disease since then by keeping all local government units (LGUs) united.
Quarterly report from LGUs were required to keep track on TB incidence in the province.
To further the cause of TB eradication, a pledge of commitment to TB and other health programs was signed by the governor and League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) President Alfonso V. Umali, Jr., Governor of Oriental Mindoro with all LGU executives present during the one-day summit, which is in partnership with the (LPP) IMPACT-PBSP Project and USAID.
It can be recalled that in 2011, Gov. Espino signed and issued Executive Order No. 0016-2011 which created the Pangasinan Koalisyon Against TB (PangKAT), the Provincial Multi-Sectoral Alliance (PMSA) for Tuberculosis Control in the province. This was later on amended with Executive Order No. 0082-2011.
Part of the strategies also undertaken by the present administration include various health-initiated activities to eradicate TB such as external quality assessment, TB itinerant activity (active case-finding of possible TB patient), TB caravan, and establishment of TB diagnostic committee.
Governor Umali, who was the summit’s guest of honor and speaker, commended the leadership of Gov. Espino as he said that with the way positive and rapid development are happening in Pangasinan, there is no doubt that the disease will soon be eradicated.
According to the reports of the PHO, the province has achieved an increase of case detection rate from 73% in 2012 to 79% in 2013 and 88% cure rate in 2013 as against 86% in 2012 with a success rate of 92%. –(Ruby Bernardino)