Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacteria that can infect any organ of the body and is highly contagious; and when left untreated, can cause death. It is curable with a regime of antibiotics over the period of at least 6 months, however stigma and access to the tests and medications are common barriers to the successful eradication of the disease. Key partnerships are essential in the efforts against poverty and the diseases of poverty.
In July 2012 ICM was welcomed as a member of PhilCAT, also known as the Philippine Coalition Against Tuberculosis, with other private and public organisations working together to eradicate tuberculosis. Founded in 1994, PhilCAT works in partnership with the country’s Department of Health to spearhead collective efforts in controlling tuberculosis, together with leading local specialty societies of chest physicians, infectious disease specialists, and pharmaceutical industry representatives. It establishes significant public and private sector collaborations towards a TB-free Philippines.
The Coalition serves as the “unifying force” to more than 50 highly-motivated organizations supporting the Philippines’ National TB Program. PhilCAT members from the country’s public and private sector are bound by the Filipino spirit of “bayanihan” or working together. Fueled by commitment, volunteerism and creativity, their synergy encourages complementary work, facilitate sharing of resources, foster better communication, and disseminate data from research and experience.
Pictured below, Dr Melinda Gill (ICM Medical Advisor) and I take the oath of membership during the annual meeting held during the PhilCAT 18th annual convention. Seen with the immediate past Chairperson Vincent Balanag Jr MD, Chairperson Lalaine Mortera MD, and Founder Camilo Croa Jr MD.
-Helen Turner, ICM Interim Co-CEO & COO