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WHO warns of tuberculosis spread

ROSES & THORNS - Alejandro R. Roces () - July 29, 2008 - 12:00am

The World Health Organization (WHO) early this week has issued a warning about the growing threats from the spread of tuberculosis, now that current studies have proven its resistance to drugs. Many Asian countries, including the Philippines, lack the adequate laboratory facilities to detect this disease. Sadly, in our country, the incidence of tuberculosis is a matter that has rather been taken for granted, simply because it has become something common. The incidence of the disease is still high and is in fact endemic especially in densely populated areas of the country. The disease, ironically, continues to spread and remains a serious threat despite the fact that this is a disease that can easily be treated if detected early enough. On top of this, people who have been found infected with the disease, hardly take the precautionary measures to avoid contaminating other people. Because the disease is treatable, they think there is no harm if they contaminate other people. What people don’t realize is the fact that, the more the disease spreads, the more the strains of the disease become extensively resistant to all the most effective drugs.

Our Department of Health should emphasize prevention of the spread of the disease more than anything else. Infected people can transmit the disease in a simple cough, in crowded buses, elevators and pedestrian lanes. What is very alarming is the vulnerability of small children. The threat increases as more and more people travel to and from other countries. Another factor is the great number of smokers which have been found to be the primary carriers of the disease. This also increases the vulnerability WHO experts, it was shown that passive and active exposures to tobacco smoke significantly associates tuberculosis infection and tuberculosis disease. Also, active smoking is significantly associated with recurrent tuberculosis and tuberculosis mortality. Because of these findings, WHO tagged tuberculosis and smoking as two related global epidemics that must be controlled. Thus, in focusing on measures to stop the spread of the disease in our country, DOH should also be able to reduce smoking by effective tobacco control and treatment.

When I was studying, one of the more popular subjects which impressed me a lot was “Sanitation and Hygiene” and I found that the most interesting subject because it affects our lives. Smoking is not healthy, in fact, it has led to so many deaths. If we want to be healthy as a population, people should stop smoking, especially now that it has been positively linked to the spread of tuberculosis. More and more offices and government leaders should follow the examples set by GSIS P/GM Winston Garcia, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, Taguig City Mayor Freddie Tinga, Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn in banning smoking within buildings and public places. On top of this, Senator Pia Cayetano has succeeded in banning cigarette advertisements. Knowing this, everyone should jump in the bandwagon and join in the fierce campaign against smoking.

DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE DISEASE MAKATI MAYOR JEJOMAR BINAY MANILA MAYOR ALFREDO LIM MANY ASIAN MARIKINA CITY MAYOR MARIDES FERNANDO MAYOR OUR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PEOPLE PUERTO PRINCESA MAYOR EDWARD HAGEDORN TUBERCULOSIS
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