The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has expressed support for the Quezon City government in strengthening its campaign against tuberculosis (TB) and Covid-19.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Department of Health (DOH) Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire led the launching of the integrated TB screening and Covid-19 booster vaccination activities at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in the city on Monday, Aug. 22, in celebration of National Lung Month.
The free TB screening was integrated into selected Covid-19 booster vaccination sites in the city.
“The US government continues to demonstrate its commitment to help the Philippines achieve its development goals, and more importantly, survive this pandemic that has hampered economic activities and continues to affect the health of Filipino families,” Eubanks said.
“Together, we are forging stronger public-private partnerships to bolster health response efforts for both TB and Covid-19,” she added.
Meanwhile, Sotto said that through the program, TB screening will be more accessible to high-risk communities and a great number of individuals will be given access to treatment.
“We are very appreciative as well of the additional resources from USAID and URC (University Reseach Co., LLC) and their partner, Advance Abilities. Through their assistance, our work here in Quezon City will not be as difficult.” Sotto said.
To support the Philippine government’s campaign to prevent TB and Covid-19, the USAID is training healthcare workers on infection prevention and control.
It offers workshops on community TB screening and contact tracing, free chest x-rays, and is also referring TB presumptive individuals for treatment.
USAID also disseminates information about TB prevention and control along with the Quezon City Health Office.
“Our role in Congress will be to engage our peers to allocate funds for sustainable TB detection, care, treatment and prevention,” Romualdez said, as he thanked the USAID for its partnership.
“We will include the integration of TB and Covid-19 efforts in our agenda,” he added.
USAID leads international development and humanitarian efforts to save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people progress beyond assistance, according to www.usaid.gov.
The USAID has equipped the Department of Health and local government partners with P130 million pesos worth of innovative tools for TB detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, the US Embassy Public Information Office said.
The URC aims to improve the delivery of health services around the globe, working with government officials, civil society, and the private sector to identify delivery gaps and local solutions so that people can access the care they need, according to www.urc-chs.com.