GenSan opens satellite treatment facility for TB

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 March) — The city government has opened a satellite treatment facility at the city hospital for persons with Tuberculosis (TB) to address the growing number of TB cases in the area.

Dr. Marizel Flores, chief of clinics of the city hospital, said Wednesday they established the facility to ensure the proper treatment of new infections and drug-resistant cases of the disease among residents within the city’s 26 barangays and neighboring areas.

She said the facility will offer the TB Directly-Observed Treatment, Short course (TB-DOTS) and the Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB (PMDT).

“We will cater to all patients who will be detected with TB, especially the drug-resistant cases. We’ll provide them with proper medicine and enlist them into the TB-DOTS or focused medication program,” she said.

The city government established the facility, which was formally unveiled last Monday, through support from the Department of Health (DOH) and corporate-led social development group Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

PBSP is a principal recipient of a TB grant for the country of The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The local government earlier forged a memorandum of agreement with the PBSP for the establishment and operationalization of the satellite TB treatment center here.

Through the grant from the Global Fund, the PBSP will provide for the treatment and other medical needs of TB patients that will be served by the facility.

“The expense per patient will run from P300,000 to P500,000 until they graduate from the treatment program,” Flores said.

Christian Joy Salas, PBSP program officer for Mindanao, said the initiative aims to ensure that all TB patients in the area will get access to proper treatment and medication.

In Region 12, he said the group is also supporting the primary TB treatment centers of the Koronadal City health office and the DOH-run Cotabato Regional Medical Center in Cotabato City.

With the opening of the treatment facility here, Salas urged all TB patients in the area to come out and take part in the TB-DOTS and PMDT programs.

“All you have to do is go to our treatment centers, get into the treatment programs and take the prescribed medicines that we will provide for free,” he said.

The City Health Office has recorded around 600 suspected TB cases in the city in the last several years.

Most of the cases involved residents from crowded communities in barangays Calumpang, Dadiangas West and Fatima. (MindaNews)