By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Port Moresby
Health Minister, Michael Malabag, has blasted political bureaucrats for acting as spectators in the fight against tuberculosis (TB) in Papua New Guinea.
While efforts have been put to address the TB crisis, political bureaucrats must make it their business to ensure TB is tackled, because they are part of the discussion to fix this health problem.
The national health minister was responding to questions raised in parliament today by South Fly MP, Aide Ganasi, relating to recent media reports on the escalating multi-drug TB resistant crisis, hitting the Western province and its impacts on clinical staff.
Mr Ganasi raised concerns on the National Health Department’s TB control program and the stabilisation of Daru General Hospital’s management and board.
He pleaded with parliament for the State’s intervention.
Minister Malabag responded by stateding that the TB crisis in Daru is a “struggle to cope”, but reassured that TB will be controlled once the national government goes through the Emergency Response Report, which will be presented tomorrow.
The government will support the works to address the alarming TB epidemic in Daru, with the construction of a new 22 bed ward. Technical assistance will also be provided, with more health outreach programs with the Medics Queen sea ambulance assistance, patient transfers, and ten positions consisting of doctors, TB officers and health outreach officers.
Mr Malabag also acknowledged the Australian Government’s commitment to the fight against TB in Daru and the Western province.