FIELD personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will receive free TB screening and chest X-ray in a bid to promote wellness among its workforce.
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the initiative, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to identify those with cases of tuberculosis (TB) and provide them full treatment until recovery.
“We want to ensure the well-being of our field personnel who are also our frontline workers. It is our way of extending help to them as they perform their duty while risking their health,” Abalos said.
USAID’s TB Platform Active Case Finding Team will use a mobile x-ray van to be parked outside the agency’s headquarters in Makati to conduct the free TB Screening and chest X-ray to all its 2500 field workers, particularly street sweepers and traffic enforcers, who are highly exposed to variety of dust, toxins, vehicular smoke and other emissions.
“Through these diagnostic tests, we can prevent exposure and reduce risk of transmission of infection. It will benefit not only our workers, but also their family, especially since TB and COVID-19 both target the persons’ respiratory system,” he added.
MMDA’s Health and Environmental Protection Office Head Dr. Loida Alzona said those who will be detected to be TB-positive will be endorsed to Makati City government for free treatment and medication.
“Traffic enforcers, street sweepers and other field personnel are prone to have lung diseases such as tuberculosis because of their long exposure to pollution,” said Alzona.
“Those who are smoking are even more vulnerable to TB as smoking weakens the lungs,” she added.
Tuberculosis, which can be transmitted from a TB patient to another person through coughing, sneezing and spitting, is the world’s leading infectious disease killer. While it commonly affects lungs, it can also affect other organs such as kidney, bones, and liver, among others.