USAID, PIA promote public health education on TB, COVID-19
PASIG CITY, June 28 (PIA) – The The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through its TB Platforms project, and in collaboration with the Philippine Information Agency promotes health education on tuberculosis (TB) treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by its Chief of Party, Dr. Marianne Calnan, the project launched its social and behavior change communications campaign in Regions 3 and 4-A, National Capital Region and Marawi City, areas with high TB burden according to the Philippine Department of Health (DOH).
USAID provides technical assistance to the DOH National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), local government units (LGUs), health facilities and barangay health centers in ensuring continuous provision of TB services even during the pandemic.
Considering that TB patients are of greater risks to be infected by the corona virus, USAID’s TB Platforms is partnering with media institutions like PIA in their public outreach and health education.
According to Diwata de Castro-Paredes, the project’s Social and Behavior Change Communications Specialist, as they provide continuous mentoring and monitoring of healthcare workers on infection prevention and control (IPC) for TB and COVID-19, they also work with local information officers, radio, television and online media networks in the information dissemination of IPC guidelines.
In line with the other technical assistance provided to LGUs in strengthening TB response thru local policies and full implementation of TB programs, the project works with the Center for Health Development in the regions as well as with the municipal/health/provincial health offices.
Last year, Miss Earth 2019 Janelle Lazo Tee joined USAID’s TB Platforms as #EndTB Ambassador. She is helping the project in promoting health education in universities, communities and maximizing her social media platforms to gain as many conversations on TB education.
Recently, she co-founded QuaranTEAM, a private group that supports COVID-19 frontliners in NCR. USAID’s TB Platforms works with celebrities like Ms. Tee in reaching out to a greater audience and engages her to participate in TB-COVID19 webinars so she can also be an advocate of TB-COVID19 response.
This week, USAID’s TB Platforms Chief of Party Dr. Marianne Calnan was invited to join CNN Philippines’ “The Doctor in In” TV program hosted by Dr. Freddie Gomez. She expressed gratitude to all their partners in their demonstration sites, to the private sector supporting the need for LGUs the provide continuous TB treatment amid the pandemic and to the Philippine Information Agency along with the regional media representatives for joining the partnership especially during this challenging times.
“We are grateful that we are working with PIA since the start of the quarantine. We have some limitations now due to several challenges. As much as we want to educate more people on infection prevention and control for both TB and COVID-19 and provide technical assistance to hospitals and treatment centers, we cannot physically visit them but we are able to reach them through webinars and online discussions. PIA provides the channel to reach the regional media who then translates our discussions to news and feature stories.’ Calnan said.
She added that their healthcare workers are working doubly hard to ensure the highest treatment adherence amid COVID-19.
“Sharing their plight and milestones of TB treatment through testimonial stories is part of our collaboration with PIA. We will share these inspiring stories too.”
USAID also partnered with the Philippine Heart Center to strengthen infection prevention and control for TB and COVID-19 through a webinar series for medical personnel, administrative and support staff. (USAID/PIA-NCR)