The Tuberculosis Profile of the Philippines, 2003–2011: Advancing DOTS and Beyond
The Philippines is one of the highest tuberculosis (TB) burden countries in the world with nationwide coverage of directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) achieved in 2003. This study reports on the National TB Control Programme (NTP) surveillance data for the period 2003 to 2011. During this period, the number of TB symptomatics examined increased by 82% with 94% completing the required three diagnostic sputum microscopy examinations. Of the 1,379,390 cases diagnosed and given TB treatment, 98.9% were pulmonary TB cases. Of these, 54.9% were new smear-positive cases, 39.3% new smear-negative cases and 4.7% were cases previously treated. From 2008 to 2011, 50,030 TB cases were reported by non-NTP providers. Annual treatment success rates were over 85% with an average of 90%; the annual cure rates had an eight-year average of 82.1%. These surveillance data represent NTP priorities - the large proportion of smear-positive cases reflected the country's priority to treat highly infectious cases to cut the chain of transmission. The performance trend suggests that the Philippines is likely to achieve Millennium Development Goals and Stop TB targets before 2015.