According to the 2016 national tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey, the burden of TB in the Philippines is estimated at 554 new cases of TB per 100,000 Filipinos. To address this high burden, the Philippines’ Department of Health seeks to intensify its concerted efforts in finding, diagnosing, and treating TB cases.
In 2018, TREAT TB, a USAID supported project, in coordination with the Philippines’ National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), is focused on capacitating nurses from facilities in the three high burden regions in the country – National Capital Region, Region III, and Region IV-A.
The significant role of nurses in the country’s campaign against tuberculosis can never be overstated. Nurses provide clinical care for patients with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), including identification and management of adverse events. They also provide directly observed treatment and conduct contact tracing.
From January 22 to February 03, 2018, TREAT TB will train 100 nurses from Regions IV-A and III on the clinical management of MDR-TB, with lectures ranging from TB diagnosis, managing side effects, and common errors in MDR-TB management. Learning is also facilitated with case presentations from the participants. The series of trainings was arranged by Vital Strategies – the implementing partner for TREAT TB – and is being delivered by MDR-TB experts Dr. Ignacio Monedero and Dr. Patricia Macias from The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
As the first group of nurses concluded its training on Wednesday, they left with a lot more confidence and better knowledge in the management of their MDR-TB patients. One of the nurses commented, “This training gave me confidence in managing adverse drug reactions and it’s especially important as I am the only nurse in my area.”