Mass TB screeing underway in Marshall Islands

4:29 pm on 20 February 2017

A mass screening and treatment programme for tuberculosis is being conducted on densely populated Ebeye Island in the Marshall Islands.

Densely populated Ebeye Island in the Marshall Islands is the focus of a mass screening for tuberculosis

Densely populated Ebeye Island in the Marshall Islands is the focus of a mass screening for tuberculosis Photo: Anjojo Kabua

It is the second phase of a project which was launched in November with an outreach awareness and registration programme for about 60 percent of Ebeye's population.

The ongoing screening and treatment phase is expected to take up to nine-weeks to complete.

The Health Minister Kalani Kaneko said the Marshalls has one of the highest rates of TB in the world and that it was time to do something about it.

The aim was to screen nearly 7000 Marshall Islanders aged 15 years and over and to treat everyone who tested positive for tuberculosis.

Ebeye is one of three "TB hot spots" in the U.S.-affiliated island area identified by the Centers for Disease Control.

The others are the Marshall's capital, Majuro, and Chuuk state in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The programme is being supported by the World Health Organisation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Interior Department and the Pacific Island Health Officers Association.

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