TB, HIV are killer diseases

National, Normal

The National, Monday 25th March 2013


TUBERCULOSIS and HIV are the biggest killer diseases among children in PNG, according to a medical specialist. 

Port Moresby General Hospital acting director for medical services Dr Philp Golpak said during the World TB Day last Friday that although the diseases were preventable, they had claimed a lot of children’s lives.

“TB has been a major contributor to child deaths,” he said.

“One in 13 children will die before the age of five. In 2011 the total attendance (to PMGH) was 3,466 of which 2,520 were adults and 946 were children.” 

Golpak said a total of 13,722 patients were admitted to the hospital’s TB ward in 2011 with a daily average of 43 patients. TB had occupied 13% of hospital beds.

He added that of greater concern was the emergence of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) due to increased number of patients who had dropped out of treatment (first line drugs).

Golpak said that clinical indications showed there was an increase in adult cases by 30%.

“Prevention is better than cure and if you live wise and healthy, you live longer. Let’s go back to the basics.”

World TB Day activities at PMGH began with a march around the perimeter of the hospital’s main entrance to the emergency department then into the outpatient area where the main event took place.

Participants included TB health workers, other hospital staff, patients and guardians. 

Students from Bavaroko Primary School also took part wearing their World TB Day T-shirts and carrying banners. 

They marched into the outpatient area chanting the theme ‘Stop TB in my life time, what can you about it’. 

The activities included a drama put on by TB ward patients and their guardians and testimonies by several patients.