ConnecTB empowers Antipolo TB treatment center response amid pandemic
ANTIPOLO CITY, Rizal, July 24 (PIA)—The Antipolo City Government and its local TB Satellite Treatment Center utilize digital tools such as the ConnecTB mobile application to combat challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to USAID, Antipolo City Mayor Andrea Bautista-Ynares, together with other local chief executives in 2019, supported the institution’s TB Platforms in line with a reinforced TB response and drafting of local TB Ordinances in order to eradicate TB.
The City Government, after several discussions with the project’s Region 4-A team, committed its support to information and education campaigns on TB education in order to raise public awareness on TB symptoms and access to TB services in the city. To date, the Antipolo STC has been successful in the local TB program implementation.
Mayor Ynares is also slated to share the LGU’s best practices to other municipalities and cities in the upcoming Usapang Dibdiban session with local chief executives which advocates the use of mobile health applications in TB-COVID19 response.
Meanwhile, healthcare workers like Julie Ann Chato, designated TB nurse and Antipolo NTP Nurse Coordinator, remotely monitor enlisted Multi-Drug Resistant TB patients via mobile phone.
Prior to the pandemic, Ms. Chato and her peers use USAID’s ConnecTB app. With the COVID-19 pandemic and limits placed on health facility visitors, the Antipolo STC maximizes the use of the health app in urging TB patients adhere to treatment, report adverse drug reactions for program staff to address their needs.
Through ConnecTB, Chato also reports that the Antipolo STC team monitors 58 MDRTB patients and through the support of the families of TB patients, has achieved 100% treatment adherence.
“With limited transportation due to community quarantine, both healthcare workers and patients find it difficult to conduct face-to-face counselling sessions. We brought the supply of TB medicines to the patients’ residences then we explained the treatment regimen, the rest of our monitoring was thru the ConnecTB mobile app. We are grateful that USAID’s TB Platforms introduced this digital tool to all of us,” Chato shares.
“Every week we also call our patients and a representative from his or her family so we can remind them the importance of treatment adherence as well as provide additional updates about TB care and treatment,” she adds. (PIA-Rizal with reports from USAID)