Forum to Fight TB, Malaria, and AIDS held to celebrate World TB Day Photo

Forum to Fight TB, Malaria, and AIDS held to celebrate World TB Day

As part of a week of events commemorating World Tuberculosis Day, the Philippine Partnership Forum to Fight TB, Malaria, and AIDS (PPTMA) held its Fourth Forum at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Summit Hall C on Friday, 28 March 2008. The PPTMA nominates and eventually elects the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), a body providing oversight function on the Global Fund against AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), which supports two TB projects in the Philippines approved in Round 2 and Round 5.

Two hundred fifteen delegates from 74 organizations in the public and private sectors attended the Forum. The presentations discussed the gains made in the national programs covering TB, which indicated an increased case detection rate and treatment success in TB, with a discernible down trend in the incidence of new smear positive disease. The contributions of the Global Fund-supported initiatives in TB control included: the additionality of the Private Public Mix DOTS of 11% case detection rate in their respective catchment areas; and the detection of 74% of all new smear positive cases through advocacy, communication, and task forces organized for social mobilization in the poor rural communities in the Philippines. The success gained by the Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB, previously called DOTS-Plus, through mainstreaming into the National TB Program in Metro Manila is an appropriate preparation for the scale up in the other regions of the country under the guidance of the Green Light Committee.

The Forum is held every year to inform all stakeholders of the progress made by the Department of Health and its partners in the control of these three important public health diseases and the GFATM contributions in this undertaking as indicated in the Manila Declaration of 2005. The Philippines ranks ninth among 22 high burden countries for TB, while malaria is endemic in twenty-six provinces. The burden of HIV remains low and all efforts are being extended to keep the problem from growing.

The GFATM is a partnership of national governments from donor and developing countries, non-governmental organizations, private corporations, foundations, international organizations, and affected communities established in 2000 that provides financial resources for the prevention and control of the three major infectious diseases, namely TB, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. It has provided funding and support to the Department of Health and its partners in the fight against TB, malaria, and AIDS in the Philippines. The Global Fund projects in the Philippines include two rounds on Tuberculosis, three rounds each on Malaria and HIV/AIDS. The Principal Recipients of Global Fund projects in the Philippines are the Department of Health, the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, and the Tropical Disease Foundation.

The GFATM works through the CCM of the Philippines, a body,composed of a broad range of stakeholders at the national level, tasked to coordinate the preparation of proposals and to monitor the implementation of approved proposals.  The CCMis currently chaired by the Department of Health (DOH) and co-chaired by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Forum was an occasion for nominations from various constituencies of the private and non-government sector for membership into the CCM.

The 4th Forum of the Philippine Partnership to Fight TB, Malaria, and AIDS was made possible by the  support from the GFATM.