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As we watch how the COVID-19 pandemic has reached every corner of the Philippines, there is another pandemic that has been with us for the longest time. Tuberculosis has put the Philippines on top in the whole of Asia, with the highest incidence rate of 554 cases per 100,000 people.

It was in early 2012 when Malaya Relacion started experiencing painful and excessive mouth sores, frequent fevers, weight loss, and non-stop cough. As she couldn’t bear anymore the ordeal she was experiencing back then, she decided to undergo a series of consultations and diagnostic tests in a private health facility in Davao.

Mark Agana was healthy, sporty, and never thought of being vulnerable to any medical problems until one day in September 2014 when he felt weak, lost his appetite, and had an unusual hard cough which lasted for a few weeks. At first, he was in denial of suffering from any serious condition until these symptoms took a toll on his overall health.

In March 2013, 24-year old Allen Joshua “AJ” Tortosa was diagnosed with TB. He was a first-year college student then when he started to experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and cough that lasted for more than two weeks. Later on, the confirmatory results came out that he had Drug Susceptible-TB (DS-TB) infection.


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