Health & TB Program


Background
- TB is the 6th leading cause of illness and the 5th leading cause of deaths among the Filipinos (NSO 2008, 2005). It is no surprise that in urban poor settlements the problem of tuberculosis is even worse than in the general urban population. For various reasons diagnosis and treatment in such places are often delayed or not sought at all.

Despite efforts made in the past, ignorance about tuberculosis, shame and financial issues among others still keep patients from getting appropriate care, even if diagnostic tools and treatment would be accessible. DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course) is among the most cost-effective programs for curing and preventing tuberculosis and has been officially adopted by the Philippine National TB Program in 1996. The Health Care Centers provide normally free sputum examination and TB drugs among other services but as outlined above, many patients are still not seeking appropriate care.

Bukang Liwayway (BL) Foundation has continuously expanded its community development projects (scholarship, training& discipleship, health program, livelihood projects) in several areas and encourages economic, emotional, social, cognitive, physical and spiritual development among the urban poor. BL has engaged in health care education in the communities for the past 9 years.

Crossing the path of many TB patients who got stuck somewhere on the way from diagnosis to treatment completion has triggered off our desire to engage in the fight against TB and with its history of a long-standing community based project, BL is an excellent source for grass root support in such an attempt.