OTML donates new TB gene machine to Western

National, Normal

The National, Monday 08th April, 2013

 WORLD TB Day was marked in Tabubil, Western, with the delivery of a gene expert machine.

By using the machine, health experts can know within two hours if people have the TB germ and whether they are resistant to the first line drugs. 

Western now has such machines. The one at Daru Hospital was purchased recently by AusAID.  

It is the only province with two machines – Port Moresby, Lae and Madang have one each.   

The machine at Tabubil was purchased by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd and handed over by its manager training and development Eric Kuman on TB Day. The machine is attached to a laptop computer and allows TB results to be read and printed at the same time. 

Dr Rendi Moke, the province’s TB physician attached with the World Vision’s Stop TB programme, was at Tabubil during the presentation.

He spoke about the increasing the multi-drug resistant TB and the need to eliminate the disease in the pro­vince.  

He said the province in 2012 diagnosed 450 TB cases with more than 100 living with the MDR TB.  

MDR TB is when patients develop resistance to the first line drugs.  

It is costly to treat with one patient alone costing almost K15,000. 

It means 100 will cost around K1.5 million to treat within two years.  

He was grateful to Global Fund Facility for funding the treatment and OTML for providing the machine.