11 Mar 2013

Lack of access to medication driving TB in PNG

11:19 am on 11 March 2013

A Catholic Health Coordinator in Papua New Guinea's Western Province says she is very worried about the lack of access to tuberculosis medication as the disease spreads in the region.

Sister Anna Sanginawa, who runs a clinic in Kiunga, says only registered patients are eligible to receive treatment but the remoteness and isolation of communities means it's impossible to register everyone.

She says tuberculosis has been a problem for a long time and she would like to see a proper investigation into the issue.

Recent statistics report one Papua New Guinean dies from TB every two hours.

Sister Anna says despite writing proposals, not enough is being done to trace and treat the disease.

"The TB spread is on high I guess, from what I'm hearing and what I'm seeing. Because I myself brought this young boy to the hospital but he came in through with the last stage not is a stage where the medicine can help him. And so he died."

Sister Anna says she would like to see a team travel into the Fly River area to limit the spread of tuberculosis.