UNLIKE other tuberculoses (TB) stricken countries, 25% of TB patients in Papua New Guinea are children, according to a World Vision International (WVI) report.
With TB claiming a life every two hours daily, about 3,800 people die from the disease annually.
“By 2015, we want to at least halved this number,” WVI said.
The report also highlighted that 16,000 new TB patients are detected every year, including 2,900 people living with HIV/AIDS.
More than 10 journalists who attended a one-day TB training workshop in Port Moresby on Monday were given an insight on the disease.
Jane and Thompson Associates TB project manager Clement Totavun said Papua New Guineans in urban settings were often at high risks of contracting TB due to overcrowding and confined living conditions that were common in settlements and villages.
The workshop also revealed that people living in such conditions had weak immunity against TB because of a lack of nutrition in their diets.
People in rural areas were also vulnerable due to a lack of access to health facilities, poor transportation, insufficient finances and lack of awareness.
According to WVI, there are still many misconceptions about TB.
“Many people still believe that TB is caused by sorcery.
“Others believe it is transmitted through the sharing of utensils.”
Within the Asia-Pacific region, PNG has the second highest rate of TB and the highest in the Pacific.