Building capacities for multi-drug resistant TB in “Big 3” regions in the Philippines

Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. in cooperation with the Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines-Manila and the local Department of Health (DOH) are expanding the roll-out of the online learning platform, Tuberculosis (TB) Academy to three key regions in continuing to build the country’s capacity to respond to multi-drug resistant (MDR-)TB cases.  

The collaboration of all three stakeholders aim to institutionalize the TB Academy and the sustainability and support of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) of the DOH. 

Its expansion is set to include cities within the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 3, and Region 4A, which have been identified as the three key regions with the highest incidence rates of TB in the country. In addition, participants from other provinces will be invited. 

Johnson & Johnson Philippines, UP College of Public Health in collaboration with DOH National TB Program expand the reach of TB Academy within NCR, Region 3, and Region 4A
Dr. Belizario is the Dean at the College of Public Health, University of the Philippines, Manila; together with Johnson & Johnson (Philippines) Inc. they launched the TB Academy, an online educational program that aims to help health workers optimize responses to multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis in the country.

Dr. Vicente Belizario, Jr. Dean of the UP College of Public Health shared, “Our first four runs of the TB Academy proved to be highly satisfactory, with all our participants completing both online curriculum and live webinars and showing great improvement in their post-test scores, following the results of their pre-tests. In the next runs, we are expanding the program to include TB treating clinicians in the Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB (PMDT) and Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course (DOTS) facilities as well as nurses and medical technologists, that we may be able to democratize the knowledge and skillsets in treating patients with MDR-TB.” 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)’s 2020 Tuberculosis Report, the Philippines still belongs to the top 20 countries with the highest incidence rate of TB cases, with it being the 8th leading cause of mortality and morbidity among Filipinos. 

Since the program’s launch last October, a total of 57 healthcare service providers (HCPs) from 16 Philippine regions have completed the training courses. From July to October of this year, 140 more are expected to partake in the training, including i-DOTS treating physicians, nurses, and medical technologists (and other HCPs). 

The training sessions are expected to run for 4-weeks with 30 online training days per cohort, which will be available on demand on The Union’s digital platform, and a weekly face-to-face session. 

Johnson & Johnson Philippines, UP College of Public Health in collaboration with DOH National TB Program expand the reach of TB Academy within NCR, Region 3, and Region 4A
Dr. Erwin Benedicto is Johnson & Johnson Philippines’ Head of Medical Affairs. Overseeing operations with his team, he works together with partners like UP-Manila’s College of Public Health to address the needs of specialists and patients across several disease-areas.

Johnson & Johnson Philippines Head of Medical Affairs Dr. Erwin Benedicto shared, “As a company, we’ve had a long-standing commitment to supporting our partners in the medical field in responding to the ongoing challenges of Filipino TB patients. With the expansion of the TB Academy’s roll-out, we hope to empower more HCPs that we may improve health outcomes of and respond quicker to existing cases.” 

Johnson & Johnson’s efforts in supporting the local government’s agenda to end TB in the Philippines are aligned with the WHO’s goal of ending TB worldwide by 2030. 

To learn more information about Johnson & Johnson’s efforts in fighting TB worldwide, you may visit: https://www.jnj.com/tb 

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