South Cotabato to acquire mobile x-ray van

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 March) – Health personnel in South Cotabato province are planning to acquire a mobile x-ray van to augment its intensified surveillance activities against tuberculosis (TB).

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said they are set to submit a proposal to the Provincial Development Council’s social development committee for the purchase of the mobile facility.

He said the move aims to improve the province’s detection rate for TB and address its increasing cases.

Last month, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) deployed a mobile x-ray van in a joint anti-TB campaign in parts of the province.

“We want to sustain the initiative we started with PBSP by deploying our own mobile x-ray van,” Aturdido said in a statement.

He said at least two batches of residents province-wide were able to avail of the x-ray services provided by PBSP, which has been supporting the anti-TB campaign in the area.

The recipients included inmates of the South Cotabato Rehabilitation and Detention Center or provincial jail in Koronadal City.

The latest figures on TB cases in the province were not immediately available but the IPHO said it detected nearly 600 new cases in the surveillance activities with PBSP.

Aturdido said at least 23 percent or 305 of the first batch of 1,329 residents who availed of the x-ray services were found positive of TB while 19 percent or 294 of the 1,550 tested in the second batch was also found infected.

The official said it shows that there are still more possible cases of TB in the province that have not yet been detected.

“We’re not the only area affected by this problem. The prevalence of TB cases throughout the country has increased according to the DOH (Department of Health),” he said.

Aturdido said the province’s treatment success rate for TB is currently at 95 percent but the case detection rate was only 56 percent.

He said the deployment of a mobile x-ray van will improve their case detection and ensure the immediate treatment of positive cases.

He said they are still determining the cost of the mobile facility, which will include a sputum testing laboratory.

He added they are also processing the requirements for its operations, especially the medicines and manpower complement. (MindaNews)