The Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis (PhilCAT) and the Department of Health spearheaded the observance of World TB Day on March 23, 2007 at the Quezon Institute grounds. “TB, kahit sino, kahit saan… tutok gamutan, DOTS lang ‘yan!” is the theme of the commemoration reiterating that anyone can be vulnerable to tuberculosis and that the adoption of Directly Obseve Treatment Shortcourse therapy (DOTS) is the most effective strategy in its control and prevention.
The observance is preceded by a holy mass officiated by Fr. Roger Enaje. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III keynoted the event by affirming the Philippine government’s vow for a more vigorous effort versus tuberculosis. Also present to assert its support to the Philippine tuberculosis initiatives were Dr. Jean Marc Olive' of World Health Organization and Oren Ginzburg of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
Meanwhile in a newspaper published message, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo commended PhilCAT’s commitment to promote public awareness about tuberculosis. She stated that PhilCAT has reached out to the most vulnerable sectors of the Philippine society by safeguarding the people and helping the government in beating all odds and ensuring a better life for all.
Coinciding with the event is the 2nd Forum on the Partnership to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria that was conducted at the Philippine International Convention Center to assess the progress of controlling and preventing the three major diseases in our country.
The observance is inline with the World TB Day 2007 campaign, “TB anywhere is TB everywhere,” which emphasizes that although TB is a preventable and curable disease, it remains a global emergency. The 2007 theme addresses the challenges to country TB program performance that affect TB control progress on a global scale. Achieving the TB-focused targets of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals depends on effectively raising and addressing country-level challenges through a unified global campaign.
The observance of the World TB Day 2007 in Manila was supported and participated by PhilCAT’s 67 strong member institutions, government agencies, non-government agencies and corportations that are committed to prevent and eliminate tuberculosis.
World TB Day was also simultaneously commemorated in major cities of the country through the 16 Regional Coordinating Committees for Public-Private Mix DOTS. Various activities include TB awareness campaigns through colorful parades and cultural shows, media advocacy, symposia, stakeholders’ involvement and agreement signings and other information, education and communication strategies.