By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV, Port Moresby
The Kerema General Hospital in the Gulf Province is seeing an average of 20 Tuberculosis (TB) patients per day and that number has been growing over the last five months.
Chief Executive of Kerema Hospital, Moses Uvaipi says, the disease is endemic and the hospital is trying its best to keep up with the alarming rate of TB cases.
Uvaipi said the current fight against TB has prompted the construction of a TB ward at the Kerema Hospital, with ground work to commence early next year.
The hospital has seen over 2,000 cases since July this year. Currently, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have been stationed in the province to help treat TB patients.
Medical Referent of the Kerema TB Project, Miriam Arago says, the rate is alarming and many factors are also to be blamed for patients not seeking treatment soon enough.
The rate of daily consultations is alarming and a concern for us, she added.
Nine expatriates and 25 local staff are currently driving the TB fight in Gulf.
Doctors without Borders will extend their services to other districts in Gulf, through a partnership with the National Department of Health.