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ASCENT Philippines and partners celebrate National Tuberculosis Day

22 September 2022

ASCENT Philippines and other development partners, tuberculosis (TB) survivors, healthcare providers and program implementers from the seven provinces and two highly urbanized cities in Region 3, medical societies, and provincial government offices joined the Department of Health Central Luzon Center for Health Development to celebrate the National Tuberculosis Day on 19 August 2022. Participants included Bulacan and Pampanga, the two provinces currently implementing the ASCENT project.

The event enabled ASCENT to put on display two digital adherence technologies (DAT): the 99DOTS medication label and the evriMED smart pillbox. Besides that, we also displayed communication materials designed to support patients’ and providers’ use of DAT. Additionally, the ASCENT team answered questions on DAT and its role in helping patients complete their treatment successfully.

Nurses from the Department of Health (DOH) Human Resource for Health unit of Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, pose questions on the ASCENT digital adherence technology and examine with interest the smart pillbox.

Anchored on the theme Tara’t magbayanihan! TB ay tuldukan! (meaning Let’s go work together to end TB!), the event enabled government agencies to present the work they’re doing to end TB. These agencies included the departments of Social Work and Development (DSWD), Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); and Philippine Information Agency (PIA), among others.

Three drug-resistant TB survivors spoke about the long and difficult journey they took to get cured. All of them agreed they could not have ended TB successfully on their own. It calls on the patient and his/her family and friends, healthcare providers, and support agencies working together to win the battle against TB.

At the ASCENT project we are aware of the many social, financial, infrastructural, and mental struggles that TB patients face while taking their treatment. Devoted to studying DAT and providing people centered care, our aim is to empower both patients and health care workers with the use of DAT.

Photo credit: ADEVillanueva/KNCV

The Unitaid-funded and supported ASCENT project is led by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation in partnership with The Aurum InstituteLondon School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and PATH.