30 Mar 2005

Detection of tuberculosis improves in Vanuatu

8:15 pm on 30 March 2005

Vanuatu's National Tuberculosis Co-ordinator says a two year awareness campaign in communities has helped to improve their detection of the highly infectious disease.

Russell Tamata says the number of identified cases has increased over the past couple of years.

He says a problem is that many TB sufferers delay seeking medical help, opting instead for a traditional healer.

Mr Temata says as a result last year out of 117 identified tuberculosis cases, 20 people have died.

"We try to encourage them to seek medical treatment, rather than visiting local custom managing doctors for treatment, which is something commonly found here in Vanuatu."

Vanuatu's National Tuberculosis Coordinator Russell Tamata.