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Governor Fernando of Bulacan, Philippines signed MOU on World TB Day

24 March 2022

Bulacan, Philippines celebrated World TB Day 2022 with Governor Daniel Fernando signing the Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation and the Department of Health of the Philippines. 22 health facilities in Bulacan are piloting, through the ASCENT project, the use of digital adherence technologies (DAT), such as a medication sleeve/label, smart pillbox and video-supported treatment, to improve treatment adherence and outcome.

Bulacan is one of two provinces in the country where the ASCENT project is piloting the effectiveness of three digital adherence tools for tuberculosis (TB) treatment. Since the start of the project, 22 health facilities in the province have enrolled a total of 1,450 patients in 99DOTS/medication sleeve/label (755 patients), evriMED smart pillbox (649), and video-supported treatment (46).

The effectiveness study seeks to determine whether implementing DAT plus differentiated response to treatment adherence monitored daily through a web-based platform – together with the TB standard of care – reduces the number of adult drug-sensitive TB patients with poor end-of-treatment outcome compared with using standard of care alone.

Substudies will look into the feasibility of implementing DATs and the acceptability of the DAT intervention among patients, healthcare providers and key stakeholders. A substudy on drug-resistant TB is also included.

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.