We have just kicked off a new round of our “Stop TB Now,” the program by which the Club seeks to save young children from the debilitating effects of juvenile tuberculosis, a.k.a. primary complex. This is the third round of treatments funded by a USD85,000 global grant released by The Rotary Foundation (TRF) to the Club during our 50th year, when Eddie Yap was president. Its implementation began in 2016-2017 during the term of PP David Ackerman and was carried through last year during the incumbency of IPP Jun Jun Dayrit.
This new round, launched on September 29, covers 100 children in four barangays in Baliuag, Bulacan—Makinabang, Piel, Sta. Barbara, and Sto. Cristo in partnership with RC Makati Business District and RC Baliwag. Present at the launch were Pres. Liza Timbol, CP Mache Ackerman, and IPP Tess Castro of RC Business District and members of RC Metro Baliwag headed by Pres. Malou Sta. Juana.
Ann Mache Ackerman delivered an inspirational message, while Dr. Carol Dellosa of RC Metro Baliwag gave an overview of tuberculosis—its causes, symptoms and treatment. RC Metro Baliwag provided snacks and lunch for the kids and parents, as well as prizes for the games. They also hosted lunch for the Rotarians. RC Makati, for its part, gave the children slippers left over from the Usbong Katutubo event held on September 20 in Porac, Pampanga.
The Baliuag run brings to 767 the number of children so far treated under the global grant, which includes kids in San Andres, Manila; San Martin de Porres in Parañaque; Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; Baliuag, Bulacan; Alabang; and 30 other NCR communities in Luzon; and Dumaguete City; Tacloban City; Bacolod City in the Visayas. Opened to other clubs, it had three other clubs in D3830 signing up as participants: RC Alabang; RC Makati Business District; and RC Palanyag-Paranaque.
The program prescribes a cocktail of medicines to be taken by patients every day without fail for six months, until March 2019, after which they shall be weighed to see if they have attained the desired weight for their age. The method of dispensing the meds is the directly observed therapy-short course (DOTS), which directs a person to personally dispense the medicines to the patient, to make sure the meds are taken every single day. Missing a day’s medication puts the patient at risk of developing multi-strain TB, which is drug resistant and requires a more stringent and costlier treatment.