The Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA), a Japanese NGO, conducted an Annual Workshop together with the Manila Health Department, the Quezon City Health Department and partner organizations as part of phase three of the Tuberculosis Control Project in Socio-economically Underprivileged Urban Areas in Metro Manila, Philippines “Stop TB para sa Lahat” at the Bay View Park Hotel in Manila from February 14 to 16, 2011.
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most life threatening diseases infecting millions of people globally. The Philippines remains to be vulnerable to this communicable disease and ranks among the twenty-two countries highly burdened by TB.
The fight against this disease continues to be a major global health concern. In fact, the target included in the Millennium Development Goals is that TB incidence should be falling by 2015. The Direct Observed Treatment, Short Course - or DOTS, of which the minimum period is six months- is the core strategy of TB therapy. In Philippines, the incidence rate of TB continues to be relatively high especially among informal settlers in urban unhygenic areas because of various factors such as overcrowding and poor hygiene situation, inaccessibility for health workers to enter these areas, insufficient facilities for TB treatment, discontinued treatment due to frequent relocation of patients, among others.
During the last two phases of the project, the Research Institute for Tuberculosis/JATA has contributed to curbing the spread of TB in urban unhygienic areas by building a network with selected NGOs in the area. The network has conducted various activities such as sharing of information about the patients, continuous education of the people in the area and training of health worker s. In these three years, 137 doctors and 274 volunteers who treat TB patients were trained and more than 800 local residents were educated through TB-related events
The activities for this third phase consists of trainings for doctors and paramedics as well as assisting Philippine NGO partners to introduce Electronic Tuberculosis Register (ETR) to effectively share useful patient information. In addition, the Research Institute for Tuberculosis/JATA strengthens the network and expands it to other Philippine NGOs in cooperation with the partners. The activities also included educating local residents through events such as World TB Day.
This yearly Workshop is being conducted for thirty Philippine NGOs. The workshop seeks to review the developments in the implementation of the project, discuss the project activities and strategies, assess past performance, share experiences as well as make future plans. Three yearly workshops were conducted by JATA from 2008 to 2011 and this is fourth workshop.
The contract for phase three was signed May 2010 and marked the appropriation to this project of US $ 350,223 from the “Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects” under Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) . Around 530,000 urban low-income residents of Payatas in Quezon City and Tondo, Manila will benefit from this project.
Japan, as top ODA donor to the Philippines, launched t he Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects in 2002 to enhance cooperation between the Government of Japan and NGOs in the implementation of ODA to promote effective and efficient aid for developing countries. In the Philippines, 24 projects in various sectors worth approximately Php 130 million have been implemented by this program. It is hoped that this project will further contribute to the strengthening of friendship between the people of Japan and the Philippines as well as to fostering the strategic partnership between our two countries towards the future.