US supports QC in fight against tuberculosis, Covid-19
August 29, 2022In celebration of National Lung Month, the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), is supporting the Quezon City local government to strengthen tuberculosis (TB) detection efforts by integrating free TB screening at select Covid-19 booster vaccination sites in the city. USAid Philippines Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks joined House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Department of Health (DoH) Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire, and Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto in launching integrated TB screening and booster vaccination activities at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City on August 22. “The US government continues to demonstrate its commitment to help the Philippines achieve its development goals, and more importantly, survive this pandemic that has hampered economic activities and continues to affect the health of Filipino families. Together, we are forging stronger public-private partnerships to bolster health response efforts for both TB and Covid-19,” said Acting Mission Director Eubanks. House Speaker Martin Romualdez thanked USAid for its partnership and reiterated Congress’s support of TB and Covid-19 prevention efforts. “Our role in Congress will be to engage our peers to allocate funds for sustainable TB detection, care, treatment and prevention. We will include the integration of TB and Covid-19 efforts in our agenda,” said Speaker Romualdez. To support the Philippine government’s TB and Covid-19 prevention efforts, USAid is training healthcare workers on TB and Covid-19 infection prevention and control and offering workshops on community TB screening and contact tracing. USAid is also offering free chest x-rays, referring TB presumptive individuals for treatment, and working with the Quezon City Health Office to disseminate information about TB prevention and control. “Through this program, TB screening will be more accessible to high-risk communities. We will be able to reach out to a greater number of individuals and provide them access to treatment. Here in Quezon City, we will work hard to strengthen our TB response,” said Vice Mayor Gian Sotto. Sotto also underscored the importance of the joint efforts of the Philippine government and private partners to end TB amid Covid-19. “We are very appreciative as well of the additional resources from USAID and URC and their partner, Advance Abilities. Through their assistance, our work here in Quezon City will not be as difficult.” Since the pandemic began, the US government has invested more than P2.8 billion in the Philippines’ Covid-19 response. USAid has also equipped the Department of Health and local government partners with P130 million worth of innovative tools for TB detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. For more than 60 years, USAid has worked with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than P247.5 billion to support the Philippines since 1961.
The Manila Times
Published August 29, 2022, 8:12pm