Culion Foundation and PBSP’s First TB-ACF Program in Catanduanes Defies Challenges

In October 2021, the Culion Foundation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) embarked on a journey to combat tuberculosis (TB) in the island province of Catanduanes. Partnering together, they launched their first TB-Active Case Finding (TB-ACF) program across 11 municipalities. Despite facing the island’s rugged geography and being prone to typhoons, as well as navigating through the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team remained undeterred. Their unwavering commitment resulted in the screening of 2,807 patients, with a strong focus on prioritizing high-risk groups.

The success of the TB-ACF program in Catanduanes lay in the priority given to high-risk groups. Seniors, people living with HIV (PLHIV), immunocompromised individuals, and smokers were the focal point of the screenings. Identifying TB cases early in these vulnerable populations was crucial in curbing the spread of the disease and ensuring timely treatment.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth numerous challenges, including stringent health protocols and restrictions on mobility. However, the Culion Foundation and PBSP remained steadfast in their mission to provide essential healthcare services to the communities of Catanduanes. By adapting their strategies and collaborating with local authorities, they ensured the safety of both patients and healthcare workers, allowing the program to move forward.

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