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More than 4,000 Dumagats to benefit from TB orientation
By: PPAO
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
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DUMAGATS ACT AGAINST TB. Lea Salonga, one of the 50 Dumagats who participated in the two-day TB control program of the Provincial Government of Bulacan and Innovations and Multisectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of TB, a project of USAID, reports their plan on how to prevent and cure TB held in Adventure Resort at Brgy. Tigbe, Norzagaray, Bulacan last March 24-25, 2014. Inset: The rest of the Dumagat participants as they listen to the reporting of their tribe mate. View Larger Image.
CITY OF MALOLOS – More than 4,000 Dumagats will feel safer against Tuberculosis (TB) after some 50 of their tribe’s leaders and health workers participated in the two-day orientation on tuberculosis control program of the Provincial Government of Bulacan coinciding the observance of Bulacan TB Awareness Day last March 24-25, 2014 held at the Adventure Resort in Norzagaray.

Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that Dumagats, just like everyone else, are entitled to the government’s programs.

“Sila ‘yung madalas hindi naaabot, sila din dahil sa layo, pinipili na lang na huwag nang bumaba dito sa kapatagan para sa mga benepisyong dapat ay nakukuha nila kaya ‘yung mga ganitong pagkakataon malaking bagay ‘to para magbigay ng serbisyo at pag-asa na rin sa mga kalalawigan nating Dumagat na sila kahit malayo ay kabahagi sa ating mga programa,” Alvarado said.

Elizabeth Viray from the Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) and Mona Lisa Morales from Innovations and Multisectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of Tuberculosis (IMPACT), a USAID funded project led by the Philippine Business for Social Progress that seeks to improve TB case detection and cure rates, discussed the signs and symptoms as well as the cure for TB.

The orientation has also been a good venue for the Dumagats to open and bring up their concerns for the benefit of thousands of indigenous people in the province.

“Yung iba naman nagagamot, ‘yung iba namamatay na lang sa TB. Tulad ng misis ko gumaling naman dahil tuluy-tuloy ang gamot, pero ‘di ko din naman masisi ‘yung iba, libre nga ang gamot pero gawa ng walang pera pamasahe papunta sa mga center, P1,000 kasi ang bangka, hindi na lang magpapagamot o kaya naman kung nakapagpagamot na at humusay na ang pakiramdam ititigil na dahil ‘yung susunod na check up gastos na naman,” Tribal Governor Severino Cruz said.

Vice Tribal Governor Norma Roque on the other hand said that while it is hard to finance their fare, political boundaries are also part of their obstacles.

“Minsan kasi kung nakagawa na nga kami ng paraang makababa, pagdating naman halimbawa sa Norzagaray tapos taga-DRT kami sasabihin hindi kami pwedeng bigyan ng gamot doon kasi sa DRT kami kabilang,” Roque complained.

Municipal Health Officers Dr. Betzaida Banaag of San Jose del Monte and Dr. Lea Vardeleon of Doña Remedios Trinidad said that Dumagats are special cases and can be accommodated anywhere.

“Nakalaan na naman ‘yung gamot na pang-anim na buwan sa kanila, minsan sa iba-ibang center nagpupunta nagugulo ‘yung record kung pang-ilang gamot na ba sila, pero i-aaccommodate naman sila ang kailangan lang dala nila ‘yung papel nila para hindi masisira ‘yung gamutan, anyway we doctors naman communicate eh,” said Banaag.

The Dumagats also had a workshop on creating plans to encourage people to go to health centers for check up and for the sick to engage into continuous medication to completely eradicate TB in their communities.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, PPHO head, said that their office will submit a proposal to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to resolve the issue and have an inter-local health zone with health cards that they may carry wherever medical facility they will go.

TB is an infectious bacterial disease that kills 1.9 million people worldwide annually. ###

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