The Department of Health-MIMAROPA regional office wants to stem the incidence of malnourished children contracting tuberculosis. This after 13 out of 300 malnourished kids from the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblong and Palawan tested positive for the respiratory disease after undergoing tuberculin skin testing.

The Mantoux tuberculin test is to determine if a person has been exposed to the TB pathogen, mycobacterium tuberculosis.

For the regional health office, the number of cases is one too many and it has launched a programme to address malnutrition in the five provinces, collectively known as MIMAROPA. Malnutrition makes children more susceptible to contracting diseases like tuberculosis.

Regional Director Eduardo Janairo said “Oplan Kain Sigla” aims to counter the double threat of malnourishment and tuberculosis until the children regain healthy weight, according to a news source.

Action, a global advocacy group, noted that the connection between tuberculosis and malnourishment works two ways in that they interact with one another: malnourishment makes one susceptible to TB, while having TB contributes to the development of malnourishment.

Malnutrition may likewise cause the pulmonary condition to become “full-blown.”

A 2009 study in India noted that, “it has been found that malnourished tuberculosis patients have delayed recovery and higher mortality rates than well-nourished patients.”

Finally, the researchers conclude that nutritional supplementation may represent a novel approach for fast recovery in tuberculosis patients. Raising the nutritional status of the population may prove to be an effective measure to control tuberculosis in underdeveloped areas of world.”

According to the College of Home Economics of the University of the Philippines, a good diet for those afflicted with tuberculosis would be one high in carbohydrates like rice, bread and root crops; has protein such as meat, tofu, milk, and eggs; calcium like milk, small fish and leafy vegetables; and is rich in vitamin C like guava, mango, orange and pineapple. MIMS

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