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Tuberculosis is not the End: 3 Stories of Hope and Healing

Fact-checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Feb 23, 2023

    Tuberculosis is not the End: 3 Stories of Hope and Healing

    Finding out that you or someone close to you has pulmonary tuberculosis might be overwhelming. Though your doctor will most likely tell you that there is a cure for tuberculosis, it can still be intimidating, especially since you have to strictly follow a regimen. 

    The cure for tuberculosis involves taking several antibiotics for months – sometimes up to 9 months – without interruption. In the Philippines, you can get the medicines for free through the TB Directly-Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) Program.

    Initially, enrolled patients need to take the antibiotics while being observed by a trained individual or healthcare worker. But since the pandemic,  the Department of Health (DOH) has encouraged DOTS clinics to allow patients to take home a month’s supply of medicine. 

    But, of course, there is also extrapulmonary TB – a type of TB that occurs outside the lungs—in another part of the body, such as the brain. This may lead to more severe symptoms in need of more intensive treatment. 

    Because of the aggressiveness of treatment, and the stigma attached to having TB, some patients may feel discouraged to start the regimen.

    Hence, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its TB Innovations and Health Systems Strengthening (USAID’s TBIHSS) Project launched Kineri Ko ‘To: The Many Faces of TB. 

    Kineri Ko ‘To: The Many Faces Of TB

    USAID’s TBIHSS is a five-year project designed to bring a dynamic and strategic approach to accelerate the fight against TB in the Philippines. The online campaign Kineri Ko ‘To: The Many Faces of TB, is just one of its ways to emphasize that there is a cure for tuberculosis.  

    The campaign tells the stories of three individuals with tuberculosis: Mark Agana, Nino Magpusao, and Louie Teng. Through their experiences, the campaign aims to deliver a message of hope, revival and healing to people with a similar condition. 

    Mark’s Story: From Patient to Survivor Advocate

    cure for tuberculosis

    Mark Agana learned of his tuberculosis in 2014. However, he didn’t religiously comply with the treatment, which led to the disease’ reactivation in 2016. With renewed determination, he started the treatment for extrapulmonary TB again at the City Health Office (CHO) at Koronadal. Of course, he also focused on becoming healthy physically by maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water. 

    Nowadays, Mark has regained his strength. He also uses his experience to inspire others:

    “I have also been doing the rounds, speaking in radio stations based in Mindanao as TB survivor advocate,” he said. “I also use social media platforms to communicate about TB prevention and care. I learned that everyone is vulnerable to acquiring TB when exposed to the bacteria. Even athletic and healthy people like I was back then can get infected.”

    Nino’s Story: Overcoming Discrimination

    Nino Magpusao

    Nino, like Mark, also didn’t comply with his treatment regimen the first time. This resulted in his symptoms coming back. But this time, with the added burden of discrimination. While undergoing treatment, he heard one of his relatives say that what he had was contagious and so everyone should stay away from him. 

    Despite the added challenge, Nino pushed through with his treatment for 22 months and came out triumphant. Now, he is a survivor advocate with TB People Philippines.

    “I talk with people who have the same condition and listen to their concerns, questions, and even problems so that we would know how to help them,” he said. “I myself went through them as well so I think it’s fitting that someone who has experienced the same should be able to reach out to these people. Because I believe that ‘bawat kwento ay may kwenta’.”

    Louie’s Story: TB Meningitis Survivor and Founder of TB People Philippines

    Louie Teng

    Louie Teng experienced TB Meningitis or TB in the brain. One of the doctors told her her case was only good for 2 weeks. “So we really prayed hard because I wanted to live.”

    After months of treatment, Louie was finally healed and founded TB People Philippines. Through this organization, she reaches out to people to offer not just support, but also encouragement. 

    “The idea that I am changing lives and not just designing structures completes my day,” she said. “I realize that this is what God wants me to do. I really had to go through this side of the world where it was dark but I now know I have more purpose and that’s the way we should look at any of these challenges.”

    These online episodes can be viewed at the Facebook Page of TB Free PH.

    For more information about TB and cure for tuberculosis, visit, which includes an online self-assessment:  tool to help with TB identification and treatment. It may also be used to check for suspected TB, and locate the nearest health facility. #ParaHealthyLungsKonstulTayo is part of the Department of Health (DOH)’s local communication campaign, Para Healthy Lungs, KonsulTayo, which is supported by USAID’s TB Innovations and Health Systems Project (TBIHSS). It aims to raise tuberculosis as a public health priority in the country using social and conventional media methods. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Fact-checked by

    Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Feb 23, 2023

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