Tuberculosis is a very rampant contagious disease in the Philippines.  For the adults, the government has a program for patients with advanced cases.

Bukas Palad Tuberculosis Program instead takes care of the patients whatever stage of sickness they are in.  Then the Social Center found out that adults contaminate the children with diseases.  Since the government did not have any program for children, Bukas Palad understood that we have to start our own program to save them from disability.

For some years, the health status of the community has improved a lot.  As a result, the Social Center was able to develop a rapport with the government health centers that are in our communities and we try to help arrived to the inmost members of the community.  In addition, we started to receive vaccines from government health centers for children beneficiaries of this program.  Also, we have established a linkage with some hospitals, laboratories and other agencies to give better quality care and concrete help to our families’ beneficiaries of the Social Center.

From 1986 to 1992, a French NGO, Interaide, with its expertise and resources, brought about the professionalization of the program, as well as the possibility to reach out to as many patients as possible in the community.  At present, there are two specialists who come weekly to give their services to our patients for free.  As result, despite limited resources with a sincere desire to help, Bukas Palad Foundation was able to treat around one hundred (100) patients, many of whom were cured and were able to resume normal activities.

Short term goal:  to cure the patient, not only for himself, but also for the safety of his family, relatives and neighbor.

Long term goal:  to eradicate tuberculosis in our areas of concern.

Patient priority

  1. Adults
    • Contagious – patients with sputum smear (+) positive on direct microscopic examination.
    • Symptomatic – patients who have negative results on the sputum examination, but have positive results on the x-ray.
  2. Children
    • Positive X-ray results
    • Positive PPD results
  • Mode of detection – patients enter the program thru case finding, medical, referrals, walk-in and check-up of contacts.Laboratory – before, during and after treatment: sputum examination, chest x-ray, PPD testing for children.

    Treatment

    The duration of the treatment is generally six (6) months except when there is the necessity to extend for another three (3) months or so upon evaluation, depending on the condition of the patient, or in case of resistance.

    Stage of treatment / Medicines being used

    Intensive phase- First two (2) months of treatment: Rifampicin, Ethambutol with INH.

    Maintenance Phase – Last four (4) months of treatment: Rifampicin, Ethambutol with INH.

    Monitoring

    Regular home visitations are necessary and very important in the follow-up of patients during treatment and occasionally also after treatment.  When cured, the patients enter the rehabilitation phase where they are referred to the livelihood program for counseling and empowerment.

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