Embassy donates equipment

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The United States embassy donated laboratory and medical equipment worth K300,000 to National Capital District health services and Western province yesterday in Port Moresby.
US ambassador to PNG Catherine Ebert-Gray said at the presentation that the equipment would be used to fight tuberculosis, multi-drug resistant TB and HIV/AIDS and would enable health workers to provide quality health care for their patients.
“HIV/Aids remains one of the leading causes of infant mortality in PNG. This country suffers from the highest rate of multi-drug resistant TB and HIV infections among the Pacific Islands.
“Its rate of infection is considered a national epidemic. Other major health disease including pneumonia have high prevalence rate and are often associated with HIV infection and the inability of patients to work during sickness, along with increased health care associated with HIV combined had taken a toll on this nation,” she said.
“We sincerely hope this lab equipment, which is being turned over to the Government of PNG, will strengthen your effort to combat both TB and HIV/AIDS.”
Deputy health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala said in response: “This sort of equipment are valuable and we are not able to get them in many of our services. Gene-expert – that is a machine that will help us to find out about the drug resistant form for TB, you don’t get to identify those just by the normal equipment setting.”
He said the equipment would be sent to Daru as the Western province remained one of PNG’s TB hot spots and would also to several clinics in Port Moresby.

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