MANILA, Philippines. March 24, 2014 – Forty two teachers out of 48 and 27 out of 476 students from ERDA Technical and Vocational High School in Pandacan, Manila will soon be educating their own classmates, co-teachers, families, and neighbors through classroom talks, community seminars, and house visits as qualified trainers in tuberculosis (TB) awareness in their community. The volunteers were trained and certified as part of “Caltex Labanan ang TB para Tsuper Healthy.” This multi-awarded TB awareness campaign created by Caltex marketer, Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), is designed to raise awareness and bust myths about TB in partnership with city health offices in Manila, Makati and Quezon City.
Manila City Health Office District 6 TB Coordinator Dr. Juliet C Recidoro trained the ERDA volunteers in prevention, early detection, and treatment about the disease. In turn, the trained ERDA volunteer teams will conduct in-school trainings and visit adjacent barangays into the next school year armed with Caltex anti-TB flyers, stickers and flip charts. ERDA is also looking for possible joint partnerships with other schools to form a network of anti-TB volunteers who will embark on a larger scale TB awareness drive to further reduce the number of TB cases in Pandacan.
ERDA Tech’s commitment to a TB-free advocacy is further reinforced by implementing a new policy of adding sputum tests as part of the school’s medical screening for all on-the-job training students starting next school year. Fifth year high school students will spend an average of 300 hours or 3 months in their respective workplaces. Mark Magsalin, High School Principal of ERDA Tech, said, “ERDA Tech values its reputation and relationship with various companies honing the skills and utilizing the service of our students. We realize that TB awareness should begin in us. And so we take full responsibility for our students by ensuring each one is TB free.”
“Like Chevron, we also value the members of the community. ERDA Tech’s three year involvement in this campaign has brought awareness to 662 persons which shows that we are serious in helping sustain the project’s momentum of creating further awareness and dispelling misconceptions about TB,” added Magsalin.
In partnership with select transport groups and the local government units of Makati, Manila and Quezon City, CPI pioneered the TB awareness campaign in 2009 to protect public transport workers (PTW) from this dreaded disease. The campaign has already reached more than 14,000 PTWs with help from 57 trainor-PTWs certified by CHOs.