PNG mobilises resources in effort to beat TB
Papua New Guinea's government has created a taskforce to mobilise resources in three provinces where the rate of tuberculosis has become a serious public health concern.
Papua New Guinea's government has stepped up efforts to combat tuberculosis.
It's created a taskforce to mobilise resources in three provinces where the TB rate has become serious.
The health minister, Michael Malabag, on Tuesday called for an emergency meeting to work out how to address the large increase in TB cases.
The national tuberculosis project manager, Dr Paul Aia, told Jamie Tahana more money and resources will be pumped in, in the hope of halting the surge.
PAUL AIA: What has happened is there's an increasing number of MDR cases, multi-drug resistant cases and from the national data we've assumed that there are at least there are three or four provinces that have a high number of cases. So what we've done is we've set up a task force basically to try and address this particular MDR issue. So the three provinces which is Western Province, Gulf and NCD. So what has been done is that the Minister has invited the Governors to come and discuss and to present to them the current situation and then what is required and how we are going to meet those challenges and where we're going to get the provincial governor's support in terms of resourcing.
JAMIE TAHANA: This task force has been set up as a result of this, what will that do?
PA: The basic aim is to monitor the three provinces, set up targets for activities and then monitor them, monitor the provinces and have regular monthly meetings to see what has been done and what has been achieved. It's a period of one year. We've set up a committee, now that we've identified the activities and the funding gaps and the resources that are required, we've brought in the partners plus the governors to at least discuss the issue, the way forward and then what is required in terms of funding, so that we'll at least have this challenge met. So that's basically what we are doing. So after this what will happen is that once resources are found and allocated we'll start implementing the programme.
JT: It's three provinces and we've seen a large increase in cases of tuberculosis, why the surge?
PA: We believe that there are certain factors in the generation of MDR. And that is for Papua New Guinea previously we had lose tablets, TB drugs, they come in different lose tablets. Son one patient would probably end up drinking about 10 or 12 tablets and so what has happened is that patients get fed up, so they don't continue taking their drugs. And then once you do that, then you create the drug resistance already. So due to other factors like patients not taking drugs properly, socioeconomic situations, patients probably illiterate they probably don't understand the situation properly, we have geographic challenges, these are the sort of things that have had a bearing on the treatment progress. So what we've done from a national point of view is that we've mapped out the hotspots and then we've identified why this has happened. So there's a strategy in place to address that. And one of them is the resourcing. We've realised that to move programmes you need money, you need people, you need drugs, so that's one of the issues we've had. And gradually with the government taking the lead there's increased, improved funding in the programme. We're getting better drugs, we're getting good partnership from international organisations.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: