A Testimonial from Philippine Councilors League Laguna member Mary Grace Reodica
CFI had the privilege of witnessing the firsthand cooperation of a dedicated councilor of Laguna in delivering a transformative impact of free TB screening. The initiative from Magdalena Councilor Mary Grace Reodica has played a crucial role in preventing and controlling the spread of infectious disease within the municipality of Magdalena and amplifying it to the whole province of Laguna.
Hon. Reodica pinned the first time she had a meeting with CFI. On conducting the free TB screening service throughout Laguna, she narrated “Na-meet ko personally si [CALABARZON Team Leader] Duane at nakapagusap kami kung paano isasagawa ang libreng x-ray dito sa Magdalena. Bilang miyembor ng isang malaking liga ng konsehal, gusto ko ding isagawa ang libreng x-ray sa buong lalawigan ng Laguna.”
One of the significant impacts of ACF is its ability to identify latent TB infections. In many cases, people who are asymptomatic are unaware of their condition. By offering partnerships in conducting free TB screening, successfully identified individuals have been provided with much-needed treatment to improve their well-being.
Speaking on the impact of ACF within the municipality, she stated “Napalaki ng naging impact ng ACF. Unang-una dito sa bayan ng Magdalena, nakita natin yung may mga spot at na-identify natin ang mga miyembro na kailangang gamutin. Ang laking tulong ni Culion dahil nagkaroon ng katuwang RHU at ang DOH para sa pagsasagawa ng pagagamot ng TB.”
In addition, these types of programs have been essential in addressing the social stigma associated with TB. Normalizing the process of screening and promoting its benefits has been able to encourage individuals to come forward and get tested without any fear of judgment and discrimination.
Hon. Reodica have managed to maximize her presence as one of the people who initiated in conducting ACF. She detailed “Nagiging parte ako ng programang ito dahil nakakausap ko direkta ang mga tao. Bukod sa pagupdate ng postings ng Magdalena sa social media, ako mismo ay bumababa at ipinapakita ang community service lalo na sa mga drivers at smokers natin sa community. Paulit-ulit kong pinapaliwanag sa kanila wag silang matakot dahil libre naman ang gamutan. Dapat isipin nil ana dapat silang mag-ingat dahil may mga nakakasalamuha sila na hindi nila alam ay may TB na.”
ACF is only the tip of identifying individuals with TB infections. This free TB screening program extends beyond improving individual health outcomes. As an effort to monitor the continuum of care of TB-identified individuals, CFI also provides support in tracking the patients until their enrollment and contact investigation.
Impressed, Hon. Reodica expressed, “Magiging totoo lang ako. Ang Culion Foundation ay napakalaking tulong sa bawat programang ibinababa na may kaugnayan sa free chest x-ray. Wala akong masabi sa mga staff ni Culion. Sila lang ang nakita kong contractor na talagang bumaba para kumuha ng update at i-monitor kasama ang RHU. Hindi sila nagpapabaya at ayaw nila ng basta x-ray lang. Hindi lang natatapos sa x-ray ang programa ni Culion, kasama sila sa pagtulong sa pagmomonitor ng gamutan ng mga nakitaan natin ng spot during the ACF.”
To conclude, one of the goals of ACF is to enhance community engagement. It involves the local community to participate in delivering the process which builds trust between healthcare providers and community members. With partnerships like CFI established with the Province of Laguna, the ACF team will always look forward to being a part of this impact and success throughout other coverage areas.