Hello, blogfriends! I just came from a 4-day training stint in Bustos, Bulacan. And I am so happy to share this with you, my dear blogfriends.
As you may know, I am into development work, particularly in the area of health. I, along with our team, assist in the country’s public health management efforts primarily by harnessing private sector resources, building partnerships, and empowering people to help themselves. I am involved in reproductive health (particularlly family planning, maternal and child health, adolescent reproductive health, STI/HIV-AIDS), avian flu prevention (for a time), and tuberculosis. For this recently-concluded training, it is helping an organization build their capacity for increasing awareness on TB in their respective communities and contribute in achieving TB case detection and cure rate targets by becoming educators and treatment partners following the D.O.T.S. strategy (directly observed treatment short course therapy <-D.O.T.S. or “tutok-gamutan”). What is special about this group whose capacity we just built? They are FORMER TB PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN CURED OF TB! Who else would be more credible as educators, right? The main reason why TB remains to be viewed as a dreaded disease is lack of education to correct misconceptions about how the disease is acquired which further fuels stigma over the disease. Here are some of the prevailing misconceptions that we need to correct if we want to succeed in our goals to eradicate TB:
TB is hereditary. (Namamana ang TB). You acquire TB when you inhale the TB germ (Tubercle bacilli) expelled by a person with TB when s/he coughs or sneezes. It is not “passed down”. (Ang TB ay hindi mana-mana. Ito ay hawa-hawa.)
TB patients need to be isolated. (Kailangan ihiwalay ang kasamahan sa bahay na may TB). You do not need to isolate people with TB. Preventing spread of TB starts with a simple precaution for TB patients: COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH WHEN COUGHING OR SNEEZING. Couple this with good ventilation, you will not get TB. Did you know that you can still have sex with a person who has TB and you will not get it? True.
TB can be acquired through sharing of spoons, forks, and glasses with TB patients (Ang TB ay nakukuha sa paggamit ng kutsara, tinidor, at baso na ginamit ng isang taong may TB.) No!!! TB is acquired by INHALING the TB germ expelled by a TB patient through coughing and sneezing. This misconception contributes to isolation.
TB has no cure. You will die when you get TB. (Walang lunas ang TB. Kapag nagka-TB ka na, mamatay ka na.) This is not true. Just take a look at the happy faces of the people we trained. In this picture, they have just finished with their practicum where they educated TB patients on basic facts about TB and treatment.
From L-R (clockwise): Ate Myrna (treatment partner of her husband, Ka Polding, never had TB), Ka Polding (yes! husband of Ate Myrna. They were so sweet. Talk about “in sickness and in health”, right?), Rose, Ka Domeng, Ka Roger, Ate Paz, Tita Myrna, Dan (16 years old, survived 24-months of treatment, 18 months of which are for multiple drug resistance), Kuya Charlie, Kuya Ding, Kuya Boy (President of the group), Ate Belen, and Ka Toto (Vice President). (Ang ganda ng tawa nila noh? Kinukulit ko kasi. Sabi ko, imbes na “cheese”, say…Tee-Bee! Hahahahaha!)
These are the volunteer educators of a group called, SAMAHANG LUSOG BAGA, an membership-based organization composed of former TB patients who have successfully completed treatment and/or are cured, whose main objective is to promote awareness on TB to encourage others to seek services.
Saludo ako sa inyo! Isang karangalan na makatulong ako sa inyo! 🙂
Click this for more information on TB: basic-facts-on-tb.ppt
Reminder: If you have symptoms of TB or if you know someone with symptoms of TB especially those experiencing productive cough for more than 2 weeks, go to your nearest TB-DOTS center or health center for sputum examination.
I will be going back to Bulacan (Sta. Maria) tomorrow for a 2-day training on family planning and maternal and child health. From above the belt, below the belt naman. Hahahahaha!
I love my job! (beams) I love you, blogfriends! (blows butterfly kisses to everyone) Share the knowledge!