29 Mar 2005

Regional health official says more training needed to assess tuberculosis spread

4:48 pm on 29 March 2005

The World Health Organisation's Pacific regional representative says they will conduct more training in medical laboratories to better detect tuberculosis cases.

Dr Ken Chen says there is still difficulty in diagnosing suspected cases of TB among health workers.

He says HIV/Aids patients are also more at risk of TB.

Dr Ken Chen says there is a need for more Pacific countries to work more closely together.

"We are working with all the Pacific island countries to create a TB laboratory network, and to set up external quality assessment schemes to improve the detection rate."

Dr Chen says detection rates have slightly improved in the region, except in Papua New Guinea.

The WHO's latest estimates says there are two million known people with TB in the Asia and Pacific region, but many more cases go undetected.