Guam residents who go to the Philippines for medical evaluation or get sick while vacationing, are often times prescribed TB medications in the Philippines and they continue these medications on their own after returning to Guam. Patients who are taking TB medications without supervision and without proper work up (smear/culture and susceptibility testing) are potential breeding grounds for Multidrug Resistant TB (MDR-TB), Extremely Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB), or even Totally Drug Resistant TB (TDR-TB). Inadequate /inappropriate treatment of TB leads to the emergence of drug resistance.
This is a Public Health issue that is affecting the people of Guam and it needs to be addressed urgently to avoid the serious threat of MDR-TB/XDR-TB/TDR-TB.
By law, all cases of suspect/confirmed TB are reportable to the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program. Treatment for Active TB is done at the Department under the Directly Observed Therapy Program (DOT) which involves direct observation and close monitoring to ensure adherence and completion of treatment.
Guam residents who are prescribed TB medication in the Philippines are advised to report to the DPHSS, TB Control Program or to call Cecilia Teresa T. Arciaga, TB Program Manager at 735-3602/7157 so that an appointment can be arranged for continuation of treatment under direct supervision. Tuberculosis treatment is currently provided free of charge at the DPHSS, TB Control Program in Mangilao.
Your cooperation in this matter will be greatly appreciated.