New recruits learn more about TB

Health Watch, Normal

A TOTAL of 80 new recruits for the G4S Protect security service were shocked to hear of the statistics relating to tuberculosis (TB) infections and deaths in the country during a TB awareness campaign recently.
National Capital District has the highest number of TB cases in the country due to the growing rural to urban drift that is causing overcrowding, poor living conditions and lack of nutrition in the settlements and some urban suburbs.
Provincial advocacy, communications and social mobilisation (ACSM) coordinator for NCD, Veronica Kekae.  was given time during one of the G4S training session to give TB awareness to the new recruits.
A person infected with pulmonary TB can infect up to 15 people in a crowded area if they do not cover their mouth when coughing, sneezing or talking.
The recruits were also told that Papua New Guinea had the second-highest prevalence rate of TB in the Asia-Pacific region apart from Cambodia,  which is rated number one.
World Vision, under the TB DOTS Project, is assisting the Health Department and the provinces to provide ACSM and community-based DOTS activities under the Stop TB Strategy by advocating to the local level governments, other government departments as well as networking with churches and the private sector in bring about behavioural and social change.
“Many people in the different levels of the community are not aware of the information I am giving to you now which has resulted in the stigma and discrimination against TB,” Ms Kekae said
“Unlike other diseases, TB has only one type of medication and this is free and can cure TB, however, TB patients taking the drug must not go on and off treatment as this will lead to multi-drug resistant TB.
“If you have TB, make sure to take your medication as well as eat plenty of good food (fresh vegetables), drink a lot of water and have plenty of rest.
“ It is advisable that if you have TB, you must go for a medical check up to confirm your HIV status because HIV weakens the immune system.”