Alarming rate of childhood TB deaths

Health Watch

THE PNG Paediatric Society reports that at least 10 per cent of children infected with tuberculosis (TB) die every year.
Many more are left with permanent conditions like chronic lung disease or brain damage, president Dr Henry Welch says.
He told a Child TB workshop in Port Moresby that in Papua New Guinea, about 30,000 people were diagnosed with TB every year.
“This is one of the highest TB rates in the world. Of those 30,000 people, 7000 are children – making it (about) 25 per cent of cases,” he said.
“An additional concern is the increase of multidrug resistant TB both in adults and children in PNG.”
Deputy Health Secretary – standards division Dr Paison Dakulala said childhood TB had seen little attention.
“So we are very excited to finally come together with national and international experts to address this problem,” he said.
“Only if we all work together can we solve this problem.”
Participants were updated on the management of TB in children and how to prevent it, plus the new TB fixed dose combination pill.
It is the new child-friendly flavored and dissolvable TB medication which children are required to take a few every day.
The society and the Health Department plan to make this new drug available nationwide in 2017.
The workshop was attended by 70 TB health specialists from 22 provinces.

Leave a Reply