GANDARA, Samar: Tuberculosis has killed two people in this town during the first six months of the year, while cases have increased rapidly during the period, almost surpassing the number of infected persons recorded in 2014.
The local health office here disclosed that from January to June 2015, at least 48 people were found positive of the deadly but curable disease.
Local health authorities in this predominantly farming and fishing community have been monitoring 69 villages to treat people suffering from tuberculosis.
This year’s fatalities were a 61-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman, who died in February and April, respectively.
Last year, the local government only reached the cured rate of 72 percent, according to Cresilda Aguilar, the town’s health officer. This is largely due to the denial of some patients that they are suffering from tuberculosis.
“We monitor our patients, but some of them are not following schedules. Lack of money is also one of the problems because some of them are living far from the health center. Now we really made sure that from time to time there are people who go around villages to check patients,” Aguilar said.
Patients suffering from two weeks of cough and a resident of an endemic barangay are referred to the health center of the town proper and ask to submit a sputum sample and X-ray.
Tuberculosis an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
In order to stop the spread of the disease, patients who have early symptoms are encouraged to consult with health workers so that they will not transmit the disease to others.
Non-government organizations and community health volunteers were also asked to help the rural health unit find cases in other villages.
Gandara, a home to more than 34,000 people, is a town in the central part of Samar province, some 145 kilometers north of Tacloban City.