Manila, Jan. 19, 2003 -(Malaya) - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently awarded over P24 million to ReachOut Foundation International to implement a one-year tri-media campaign that will increase people's knowledge about symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.

Under a cooperative agreement with USAID, ReachOut will produce 16 radio and three tv public service advertisements that will be aired nationwide. ReachOut will also produce posters and brochurs that will assist the Department of Health's promotion of DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course).

Jomer Fleras, president and CEO of ReachOut explains, "We are extremely pleased for the support provide by USAID in combating TB in the Philippines. The incidence of TB in the country is quite high. Although the DOTS method is available in 66 out of 77 provinces and about 3,000 TB diagnostic facilities are spread throughout the country, only half of the infection cases are actually detected, reflecting the need for a more vigorous TB control as detection is the first step towards treatment." The new grant is a recent addition to ReachOut's list of media campaign in support of population and other development issues. Among its national media campaigns is one on AIDS/STDs (1995-1999), one on reproductive health, and a current one to promote modern methods of contraception. The media campaigns of ReachOut have twice won the Global Media Award of the Population Institute. Several of the PSAs have also won various international advertising awards such as the gold medal for best public service advertising at the New York Festivals for STD ads.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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