By LULU MARK
TUBERCULOSIS (TB) continues to be one of PNG’s major public health issues which the government will address with the support of FHI 360, an official says.
FHI acting country director Dr Pamela Kamya assured its help during the handover of its community-based TB treatment project (CBTT) and assets which included a 15-seater bus, bio-safety cabinet class two and computers to the National Capital District (NCD) health authority yesterday.
Dr Kamya said funded by the Australian department of foreign affairs and trade (DFAT), the CBTT project started in 2017 and ended in March.
She said the project, which was implemented in partnership with the NCD health services, employed 10 clinical staff, three outreach officers and a doctor at the Kaugere, Lawes Road, Taurama and Badili clinics.
“During the project, we were also able to build the Badili laboratory and employed a lab technician,” she said.
“We purchased a biosafety cabinet class two for Lawes Road which is very unique and probably one of the only one within the province.”
Dr Kamya said the other achievements of the project included:
- 60 treatment supporters engaged within the catchment of the four major clinics;
- Engaging Vabukori, Pari and Tatana community clinics;
- Establishing 15 community sites in Moresby South; and,
- Introduction of a E-coupon system with City Pharmacy Ltd (CPHL) that allowed patients to collect food twice a month.
Dr Kamya said the food coupons were an initiative to help patients with food rations so that they adhere to their medication regime which was crucial in TB treatment.
“In terms of sustainability, we are proud to say that the government, through the NCD health authority, was able to absorb all the staff that we employed during the project,” she said.
NCD health authority’s Dr Jerry Tanumei said transportation was a big challenge for health service delivery in the city as TB was just one of the many public health concerns.
He thanked PHI 360 and DFAT for the support which would go towards helping the TB patients and minimising the transmission risks in the community.
“I appeal to the public health team to look after these assets and those who are driving must be responsible and make sure they are delivering the service,” Dr Tanumei said.