USAID urges public to take part in ending tuberculosis

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — United States Agency for International Development (USAID) urged the public to take part in supporting programs aimed at ending tuberculosis (TB). 

In an Online Regional Media Forum organized by Department of Health and USAID TB Platforms in partnership with Philippine Information Agency, USAID TB Platforms Chief of Party Dr. Marianne Calnan stressed that every opportunity must be seized to push for TB response efforts. 

“Imagine a world where all people with TB are supported and can live to their fullest potential. That is the dream that we at TB Platforms have. But that dream will only remain a dream unless we can join hands to overcome major threats to the delivery of quality TB services to all who need them, where they need them and when they need them,” she said. 

Calnan cited that inadequate knowledge, stigma and apathy contribute to unengaged communities, unsafe behaviors, erratic drug supplies and inaccessible services, which all make a deadly combination. 

“This is dangerous because we miss the opportunities to prevent or cure TB, and we propagate drug resistant tuberculosis which will cause us even more in terms of money, productivity and lives,” she explained.

“I have witnessed people dying needlessly. This is unacceptable as TB is preventable and we can all do something about it. Whatever we do adds to what we do,” she said. 

According to Calnan, TB treatment has evolved over the years reducing the duration of treatment from minimum of 24 months to less than a year. 

“As an individual, we each create ripples but, as a community fighting against TB, we can create waves that will bring us closer to ending TB in our lifetime. Together, we can dream about ending TB,” she furthered. 

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