Free TST for the Botanical Garden Community in Makati City
The Tropical Disease Foundation, Inc. (TDF), in collaboration with Barangay Pio Del Pilar, conducted its first Tuberculin Skin Testing (TST) community outreach project for the Botanical garden community located at the back of the Philippine Institute of Tuberculosis Building (PIT).
Botanical Garden community is part of the catchment area of TDF-DOTS clinic for Tuberculosis. The project was envisioned to strengthen case finding in the area and further decrease TB burden in the community.
Tuberculin skin testing is a standard method for determining if a person has been exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a good test for finding a TB infection. The TST is performed by injecting 0.1 ml of tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) into the inner surface of the forearm. The skin test reaction will be read between 48 to 72 hours after administration. It is often used when symptoms, screening, or testing, such as checst X-ray, show that a person may have TB.
With the help of the Barangay Health Workers, the activity was carried out last January 11, 2012 at the community chapel. All patients who were found to have positive TST reading and with symptoms consistent with tuberculosis were offered free AFB sputum smears to screen for active tuberculosis. Those found to be positive were engaged into care through the Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course Strategy (DOTS) project of the Department of Health through the Makati City Health Office.
Out of 31 participants, 21 wqas found to be TST positive or exposed to TB bacteria and most likely had Latent or Inactive TB Infection (LTBI); five of them were symptomatic and were eligible for screening and putum test.
Community activites were personally rewarding for the staff knowing that TDF was a big help to the local area by providing needed resources or services. Whether helping the poor or supporting city-wide needs, community outreach projects connect TDF and people from different walks of life.