A Provincial Board (PB) member raised concern over the “alarming” number of unreported cases of tuberculosis (TB) cases in Bohol which may indicate that many residents are unknowingly living with the airborne disease and spreading it to other people.
According to PB Member Jade Bautista, there were 4,702 “missing” TB cases in Bohol last year as indicated in a data released by the Department of Health (DOH).
“Missing cases are computed based on the estimated population of a certain province,” Bautista said. “The actual number of reported cases of tuberculosis is deducted from the target and the difference is the missing.”
Bautista said that the information was issued by. Dr. Pilar Mabasa, a DOH representative, during an orientation and province-wide workshop on the Philippine Strategic TB Elimination Plan (PhiliSTEP) on February 14.
It was also noted during the activity that a “considerable” number of the missing cases are in the province’s jails.
“During the workshop, a BJMP [Bureau of Jail Management and Penology] representative stressed out that considering tuberculosis is transmissible and our jails are congested, the number of TB patients in jails continues to increase,” said Bautista.
However, health authorities including the Association of Municipal Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP) pointed out that the figure on the missing TB cases was still an approximation based on the province’s estimated population.
“AMHOP president, Dr. Reina Jane Demandante, however, contended that the data presented by the DOH does not necessarily represent the actual number of tuberculosis cases…a great number of this estimated population does not live in Bohol anymore,” Bautista added.
Still, the provincial lawmaker called for a study on the recent findings in aid of legislation.
She requested to have the issue referred to the PB’s committee on health which she chairs. (R. Tutas)