Reaching out to key populations in Manila

Last week saw the mid-year project implementation of Improved TB/HIV Prevention and Care – Building Models for the Future in Manila, the Philippines. In this 5-year project KNCV is working alongside the Philippine Department of Health and Hivos to improve TB and HIV prevention and care by facilitating public private partnerships. At the meeting, two GeneXpert diagnosis machines were handed over to two local civil society organizations: LoveYourself and Canossa Clinics. Both organizations reach out to vulnerable people in the highly populated urban areas of the metropole Manila.

The mid-year project implementation was attended by the Department of Health (DOH), duly represented by its central and regional offices, representatives from the National TB Program and the National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program, the WHO Country Office and non-public sector partners engaged in the project. All clinics associated with the project have demonstrated an increase in the number of cases diagnosed with TB. Some have even qualified for the financial incentive that the project provides for those clinics who have exceeded the 25% baseline target.

At the meeting the two GeneXpert machines were presented over to the Love Yourself and Canossa clinics to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment of patients. It is the expectation that these machines will be fully utilized at all times, also by neighboring clinics. Love Yourself Clinic, established originally purely as an HIV clinic, was recently granted a DOH certification. This qualifies them for PhilHealth (the country’s National Health Insurance System) accreditation, which provides financial incentives and thereby facilitates the platform for sustainability. The Canossa clinic was also recently granted a re-accreditation status by PhilHealth.

Hivos and KNCV Philippines hosted this activity through its country team composed of Dr. Annie Evangelista, HIVOS Program Manager, and Dr. Andre Villanueva, KNCV Technical Coordinator. Dr. Kitty van Weezenbeek, KNCV Executive Director, was the Guest of Honor at this event.

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 120 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB prevention and care, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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