July 22, 2024

The Catholic Church’s Healthcare Commission (ECHC) is intensifying collaboration with the government in spreading information to cure infectious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Heath Care (CBCP-ECHC) executive secretary, Camillian Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino, said the probable cause of the continuous increase in TB and HIV cases is the lack of public knowledge of the two illnesses.

“While other countries are decreasing the cases of TB and HIV, we are still increasing the cases. You can’t separate these two diseases because usually those with HIV have an opportunistic infection of TB,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

“We have cases where their presenting problem is TB, it turns out that their resistance has decreased because they have HIV,” he said added.

Cancino noted that the church is trying to reach the communities to spread awareness about various infectious diseases such as TB and HIV.

He added that ECHC has instructed the healthcare ministries of every archdiocese and diocese in the country to conduct proper information dissemination and capacity-building in the Basic Ecclesial Communities.

“Because of the proper information, the awareness and knowledge, the person has a wider understanding, so he takes tests, accesses services,” he said.

“We are increasing the cases we find here of these two diseases. We will now refer them to the TB Directly Observed Therapy Short Course facilities, to our treatment hubs to be tested and given medicine,” he said.

Cancino said they are also promoting the “cough-to-cure pathway” which aims to guide those with symptoms of TB to full recovery.

“That means, step-by-step we will support our neighbor to recover and while they are receiving treatment, you will still accompany them. Because it is important to follow the six months of TB treatment to avoid becoming multi-drug resistant which can lead to not completely recovering from the disease,” he said.

He added they are further expanding the “Lusog Baga Association” composed of recovered TB patients to further increase public awareness of the infectious disease. – PNA