Fighting Tuberculosis in Philippine Jails

Tuberculosis or TB is second only to HIV/AIDS as a single infectious disease that kills the most people worldwide. An airborne disease, it can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing and spitting. Its symptoms may include productive cough for more than two weeks, weight loss, night sweats, fever, chest pain, lack of appetite, and weakness. 

Certain conditions like overcrowding, poor nutrition and ventilation, and lack of proper health care cause TB to thrive, making places of detention an ideal breeding ground. Without adequate treatment, it can eventually result in death. 

As such, the management of tuberculosis (TB) in jails and prisons became one of the key concerns of the Call for Action process launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2007.

Through this initiative, the penitentiary system, in coordination with the Department of Health, implemented the National Tuberculosis Control Program in seven pilot jails and prisons to provide access to TB care for at least 30,000 inmates.

To mark World TB Day, ABS-CBN shows photos taken at Cebu City Jail, which is being supported by the ICRC in their program to help fight the disease.

The ICRC will continue supporting the management of TB in jails and prisons programs in the Philippines which will expand to more detention facilities.



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