The United Nations (UN) General Assembly is scheduled to hold their first high-level meeting on tuberculosis (TB) later this month, September 26, in an effort to eradicate the illness worldwide. Towards the end of last month, the US Embassy in the Philippines and the United States Agency for International Development launched two projects worth over P2.5 billion to combat TB in the Philippines.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Philippines representative office, in 2015, the country witnessed 14,000 TB-related deaths, along with 324,000 newly-recorded cases. The following year, RA 10767, or the Comprehensive Tuberculosis Elimination Plan Act, was passed, which sought to implement programs in order to eradicate TB.
The WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2017, which served as a reference for the upcoming meeting, called TB one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, with the Philippines named as one of several countries comprising 64 percent of new cases around the world. The other countries include India, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa.
The report estimates there were around 1.7 million TB-related deaths around the world in 2016.
Last May, in a Bacolod City Health Office report that found dengue hemorrhagic fever, a severe form of dengue fever, was the second leading cause of death in the city last year, it also listed tuberculosis among other leading causes of death in the city./WDJ