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Caltex, transport groups, CHOs team up versus TB

Metro Manila’s public transport drivers have taken up the fight against tuberculosis (TB), thanks to “Caltex Labanan ang TB para Tsuper Healthy” (lit. Fight TB so drivers can be healthy) awareness campaign by Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI) in partnership with the city health offices (CHOs) of Makati, Manila, and Quezon City, and public transport workers (PTWs) groups such as FEJODAP (Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines), ALTODAP (Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines) and MBOA (Metro Bus Operators Association).

As part of the campaign, CHO staff trained driver-volunteers from transport groups for certification as TB treatment partners. Once they pass certification, these PTW trainors can educate their peers on the proper detection and encourage any who may exhibit the symptoms to do early consultation and treatment. There are now about 557 certified TB driver-trainers who are spreading the awareness campaign in Makati, Manila and Quezon City.

In the three years since the TB awareness drive was launched, at least 13,000 drivers, conductors, dispatchers, barkers and their families have been trained. CHO reports that 229 public transport drivers are receiving treatment in Directly Observed Treatment Centers (DOTS) centers as a result of the campaign. This translates to a savings of at least P35 million in potential income loss of said 229 PTWs if their disease remained untreated, not counting the thousands of other people whom they may have infected with the contagious disease had they not undergone the awareness training.

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