By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The national government’s campaign to combat tuberculosis (TB) in Papua New Guinea is becoming a struggle, with increased cases of multi-drug resistant’s being reported in Western Province.
In a statement today, Opposition Leader, Don Polye, criticised the campaign saying it’s a health hazard.
His comments come at a time when the National Health Department urgently needs K40 million to implement the TB Emergency Response Plan.
National Health Department Deputy Health Secretary, Dr. Paison Dakulala, made an urgent call to the state for the immediate release of funds to contain the epidemic.
“It’s urgent, and we need these funds to fully implement the plan,” Dakulala said.
Polye, while acknowledging the development partners, criticised the national government for incompetency, which he says indicates there’s no seriousness.
“The current prominence of multi and exclusively drug-resistant TB he says, portrays an urgent need and funds must be released on time.
“Papua New Guinea is, in fact sitting on a time bomb of potential catastrophe of public health disaster,” Polye said.
He added that the alternative government’s position on TB was to create a National Drug Authority to effectively monitor all facets of drug usage, and set up TB checkpoints at all entry ports.