National TB Program in Crisis

The Government has been called to do more inthe fight against Tuberculosis in PNG

This call came fromthe DoctorIn Charge ofthe National Tuberculosis Program, Dr Paul Aia.

Dr Paul Aia fearsthe National TBeProgram will be in crisis ifthe global fund ceases bythe end of this month.

Papua New Guineahasthe second highest prevalence rate of TBeinthe Asia Pacific Region andthe highest of any country inthe Pacific.

According to statistics, Papua New Guineas die every two hours from Tuberculosis or TBethe equivalent of nearly over three thousand eight hundred deaths every year. Andthe National TBeProgram has a crucial role in cuttingthe number to half by 2015.

The National TBeProgram aims to increasethe TBecase detection rate and cure rate to global targets of seventy and eighty five per cent respectively.

Bet with Global Fund to cease bythe end of this month, it is not sure whtherthese targets will be achieved.

Dr Paul Aia says only K4m was allocated bythe government but this is not enough. He saysthe program can be effective and targets achieved if provincial governments take ownership ofthe program.

The lack of resources and poor access to health facilities is a major challenge that must be addressed by provincial governments, he says.

WiththeWorld TBeDaydrawing near on March 23rd plans are already underway to carry out awareness onthe disease in different provinces.

They wantthe public to know that TBeis preventable, curable and free in all clinics be it public or private.

Mickey Kavera, National EMTV News

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