Ending the stigma: Community members from Ronda, Cebu shares their effort to battle Tuberculosis through community education
Ronda, Cebu – There’s no better way to help the people than to change their knowledge and behavior by educating them with the right information. This is what a group of community volunteers believe as they go door to door in every household to provide knowledge about Tuberculosis in their barangay hall.
The TB Taskforce is a group of community volunteers who are trained and mobilized to facilitate treatment of identified TB patients. They are also tasked to disseminate awareness to the residents and to ensure the low prevalence of TB infection. They were officially formed less than a year ago. They underwent training with the updated information on prevention, detection, and treatment of Tuberculosis. and now, they are the ‘educators’ in the community.
“There were existing stigmas on TB – such as the disease being hereditary and the disease being incurable. There was also a lot of discrimination towards a TB patient, making a person depressed,” said Besilda Hipolao, a former Barangay Health Worker and a member of the task force. “We try to erase these stigmas. We observed that more people are not ashamed anymore to visit the clinic for a check-up,” she added.
TB remains one of the top 10 causes of death despite being treatable and curable (WHO). According to an August 2018 article from Philippine Information Agency, there are 10,107 TB cases being treated in the Central Visayas region, but there could be more cases undetected. In the municipality of Ronda, there are more than 40 TB cases being treated as recorded in the local health clinic.
Michael Miranda, a Department of Health nurse and the National TB Program (NTP) point person assigned in the municipality highlighted the significance of information dissemination among residents in the community. “The more people are informed, the more chances that new cases will be detected and the fewer infection especially among children,” he said.
World Vision supports the government in its efforts to combat the prevalence of TB. This National Lung Month celebration, the organization mainstreams its TB projects such as the distribution of visual aids during the TB classes, capacity building of the taskforce volunteers and policy advocacy.
The organization believes that it takes a team effort from government partners, private sector and civil groups, and the community to subdue Tuberculosis.
Written by Mong Jimenez, World Vision/August 29, 2018
World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.