10 May 2021 – Local health authorities disclosed that the city’s tuberculosis (TB) detection rate is still below the target of 90 percent as per standards of the World Health Organization.

However, City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo stated that the city’s TB detection rate has slightly increased last year to 34 percent from its level of 32 percent during the previous year.

She claimed that TB treatment success rate is at 81 percent against the projected target of 90 percent, thus, the need for health workers to continue advocating for TB patients from the different barangays to immediately seek the appropriate medical attention from the nearest health facilities in their places.

The city health officer disclosed that the local government is aggressively pursuing the detection of individuals with tuberculosis for them to be provided with sustained medication to allow them to recover from their illness and avoid it from worsening.

In a related development, Galpo pointed out that the Smoke Free Baguio is on its 4th year of implementation and as part of its implementation, compliance monitoring of establishments and individuals are regularly being conducted by the Smoke Free City and Community Task Force.

According to her, the city’s avid implementation of policies against smoking  garnered for the city the second straight year the prestigious Red Orchid Award.

Further, Galpo revealed that the city’s 116 district health centers continue to offer smoking cessation counselling and nicotine pastilles individuals willing to quit smoking to help in achieving the city’s overall goal of smoke free city.

Earlier, the local government enacted Ordinance No. 34, series of 2017, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance of Baguio, leading to the aggressive implementation of the city’s anti-smoking campaign over the past several years that contributed in significantly reducing the number of individuals smoking in public places.

Aside from the prohibition of smoking in public places, the aforesaid ordinance also bars the display of cigarette products in the various establishments in the different parts of the city where violators will be imposed stiffer fines and penalties ranging from P1,000 to P5,000, rendering of community service or imprisonment upon the discretion of the court.

Health authorities attribute smoking as one of the causes in morbidity cases, thus, the city’s aggressive campaign to convince smokers to quit the same for better health and for the protection of the environment.

Further, advertisements and other similar promotional materials for cigarettes are also prohibited in the media, public places and in the various establishments in the city pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations governing the same. – Dexter A. See