‘TB programme launched in new provinces

National, Normal

A TUBERCULOSIS (TB) road trip has been launched in four provinces to explain the ongoing Stop TB Strategy to nurses, healthcare workers and hospital chief executive officers.
Pictured here are representatives from the Health Department’s partner organisations who took part in the launch in Mt Hagen, including the World Health Organisation, World Vision, Jane Thompson Associates International (JTAI), City Pharmacy and Hope Worldwide.
In 2007, the Health Department became the principal recipient of a grant from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, which would enable it to strategically develop and fund a National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) throughout PNG.
So far, the NTP has covered two phases – in the National Capital District and Morobe, and then Eastern Highlands, Madang and Milne Bay provinces.
The third phase will cover Simbu, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands and East Sepik.
NTP manager, Dr Paul Aia, said yesterday that the road trip provided an opportunity to establish critical relationships between provincial representatives and partner organisations in regards to how they would work together over the coming years to increase the detection and cure rate of TB in PNG.
As is the case throughout the country, the number of TB cases detected in each of these new provinces continues to rise every year and TB also ranks among the main causes of death.
This is of particular concern, since TB is entirely curable if patients are placed on medicine and are observed during their treatment.