Office of Health


            Lung Month Special

USAID and Department of Health
Launch $50M Projects to Fight TB

The U.S. Government, represented by U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski and USAID/Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II, and the Philippine Government, represented by Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III lead the launching of the new TB projects. The event included free TB screening and interactive educational sessions on TB. (Photos: University Research Corporation)

On August 25, 2018, USAID and the Department of Health launched two five-year projects with a combined value of $50 million to support the Philippines’ goal to end tuberculosis (TB).

USAID’s TB Innovations project, implemented by FHI 360, and TB Platforms project, implemented by the University Research Corporation will support the Department of Health’s National TB Control Program and local government units to scale up measures for preventing and treating TB prevention and treatment measures. The new projects will expand the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and encourage high-risk populations to seek and complete necessary treatment, ultimately to find and cure more TB cases in the country. The two projects will focus in the high TB burden regions — National Capital Region, Region 3 (Central Luzon) and Region 4-A (CALABARZON).

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced, “The new TB projects will help reduce by 95 percent the deaths due to TB, and reduce by 90 percent the new cases of TB by 2035.” TB costs the country billions of pesos in economic losses each year. “Eradicating TB in the Philippines is a crucial step for the Philippines to achieve its development goals,” said the U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Michael Klecheski during the launch.“ The U.S. government will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippine government to end TB.”

The new USAID projects bring the total U.S. government contribution to support the National TB Control Program to over $130 million (Php 6.5 billion). As a result of the U.S.-Philippines partnership, the number of TB patients diagnosed and treated in the Philippines has more than doubled since 2006.

During the event, the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also launched the integration of the TB module into the DSWD Family Development Sessions. These sessions will include health education classes on TB prevention, treatment, and care for recipients of the Philippine government’s conditional cash transfer program.

With the theme, “Heroes for Healthy Lungs”, the event coincided with the country’s observance of National Lung Month. It drew over 500 people and included free TB screening and interactive learning activities about TB for local residents. Approximately 1 million Filipinos currently have active TB, and many are not aware that they have the disease.

USAID Hosts Global Consultation on
TB Infection Prevention and Control

Photo right above shows USAID/Philippines Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II engaging a participant in a conversation at the global consultation on TB infection prevention and control
(Photos: University Research Corporation) 

“The U.S. government and the global community share a vision of a world free from TB. We must strengthen international capacity and collaboration to combat this disease that knows no borders,” USAID/Philippines Mission Director, Lawrence Hardy II said at the Global Consultation on TB Infection Prevention and Control.

USAID, through the TB Care II Project, hosted the two-day activity in the Philippines on August 6-7, 2018, to advance the implementation of TB infection prevention and control.

Participants included representatives from the Philippines Department of Health National TB Control Program, USAID, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), academe, and civil society. Representatives from seven out of the 10 priority countries of the U.S. Government’s National Action Plan (NAP) for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) also attended — China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and South Africa. The NAP focuses U.S. government attention to MDR-TB control in the U.S. and 10 priority countries, including the Philippines.

At the meeting, Dr. Sevim Ahmedov, Senior TB Technical Advisor at USAID/Washington, facilitated the discussion on the country-specific and universal priority interventions for infection prevention and control to prevent  MDR-TB by instituting necessary managerial, administrative and environmental infection control measures, personal respiratory protection and healthcare worker screening. The participants agreed on how to monitor and measure country efforts and milestones. An important output of the activity was the critical roadmap for the implementation of universal priority interventions for infection prevention and control.

TB is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. The U.S. Government’s Global TB Strategy aims to prevent TB transmission and disease progression, and enhance intervention for infection control, whether at health facilities, communities, households, or congregate areas.