US Health Expert Raises Alarm Over Rampant TB Cases in Philippines

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 MANILA, Philippines—A large proportion of tuberculosis patients in the US are Asians, most of them Filipinos, a San-Francisco based medical expert has disclosed.

Dr. L. Masae Kawamura, former president of the North American Region of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, told reporters last week about the rising statistics of Filipino patients suffering from TB who are migrating to the United States.

She said Thursday in a press forum that TB is an “outcome of poor public health.” She appealed to the local government and health offices to prioritize early TB screening and bolster treatment in the country.
“The Philippines exports more tuberculosis patients than import at this point… TB is a disease of poverty and migration, and urbanization [because] people are moving from the rural countryside to the big cities like Manila,” said Kawamura.

Ranking second in Asia, the Philippines recorded high TB mortality rate next to Cambodia based on the World Health Organization (WHO) tuberculosis report. Among tuberculosis-afflicted persons, 59 percent came from Asia, the report said.

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