Each August, the Philippines observes National Lung Month to raise awareness about lung health. It’s an opportune time to encourage acts to prevent lung disease and the spread of those that are infectious.
TB was center stage as the world’s deadliest infectious disease affecting the lungs. The Philippine Ministry of Health promoted public awareness about TB risk factors, prevention, potential symptoms, and the importance of diagnosis, testing, and prompt treatment.
As a high TB burden country, the Philippines ranks fourth highest in TB incidence globally. It’s estimated that 1 million Filipinos have active TB, and many may not know it. Together with the Department of Health and USAID, URC is working to reduce the TB burden in the Philippines through USAID’s TB Platforms Project. While there’s still a long way to go, we’ve made notable progress.
TB Clients Tell Their Stories
Witness these firsthand accounts of hope from TB clients receiving medical services through TB Platforms in honor of the Philippines’ National Lung Month.
Mary Ann Cajunday
“We saw the mobile chest x-ray van. I brought my children, and their X-ray results were negative [for TB]. As for me, I tested positive. I asked myself and reflected on how I used to smoke heavily during my younger years. Well, it’s alright, at least I can start treatment now. I also felt relieved learning that TB is curable.”
“One of my sons has been coughing intensely for days now, and I took this opportunity to have all my family members checked. It’s not every day that you get to do a [chest] X-ray for free with medical staff ready to assist. The process of using the Ultraportable Chest X-ray was super-fast and convenient. It’s perfect for mothers who have kids like mine who don’t have patience for medical procedures and can easily get anxious by huge machines. I can now leave my worries behind knowing that my whole family is safe from TB disease.”
“My lung condition has been recurring. I’ve been coughing incessantly; the cough just doesn’t stop. I work as a vendor. My sister, who works at the health center, encouraged me to get checked here with the free chest X-ray. Last Saturday, I was working when suddenly, around noon, I was hit by a severe coughing fit after returning to my home. I had difficulty breathing and even coughed up blood. It’s the third time I’ve experienced this. It lasts for about two days. I’m now on TB treatment.”
“She’s my best friend, and we are neighbors as well. It’s our first time getting this kind of X-ray check-up. We’re getting older, so it’s better to get checked. Both of us are in good health, and nothing concerning was found. It’s a relief that we won’t have to worry or be anxious anymore.”
“I was finally able to have a check-up again. The doctor’s fees and medications have been too expensive for me. My last consultation was back in 1988. I’ve been waiting in line for a while today, really hoping to get checked. Just a while ago, I had an X-ray done, and they immediately sent me to the health center for medications, including for my two children who are also at home.”