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SYSTEMIC SCREENING FOR TUBERCULOSIS WORKSHOP IN NCD

According to the National Health Department, around 6,000 people are affected by TB Disease every year in the National Capital District.

The total number of TB cases reported for the National Capital District was 6,963 in 2018 and fell to 5,309 cases in 2021. In 2022, the total number of TB cases in NCD was reported at 6,685.

In an effort to address the rise in TB, over 200 community leaders from all three districts in the nation’s capital were mobilized to undergo a systemic screening for tuberculosis three-day workshop in Port Moresby.

These representatives were from Port Moresby South, North East and North West. The training was facilitated by the National Department of Health through the Emergency Tuberculosis Project Funding supporting from the World Bank.

The workshop was held to sensitize community leaders to prepare and be involved in the Systematic Screening for TB intervention, which is planned to happen in August to reduce transmission of TB in NCD communities by screening populations to detect the TB disease.

Dr Hemant Bogati from the World Health Organisation (WHO), who conducted the workshop, told participants that the systematic screening initiative is a cost-effective intervention that aims to detect and treat tuberculosis early, reduce the number of TB diseases at the community level and hence reduce transmission in the community.

“The systematic screening will contribute to finding more people with TB and finding them earlier in the course of disease to lower the TB cases, costs, and financial hardship for people suffering from TB, reduce the number of TB cases, transmission, and future new TB and eliminate the TB disease from the population,” said Dr Bogati.

“Positive cases identified at the screening sites will be instantly referred to the nearest Basic Management Unit for treatment,” said Dr Bogati.

Dr Bogati presented to the community leaders the current state of TB in the community, an overview of the proposed systematic screening for TB, and emphasized the importance of involving the community in implementing and monitoring the systematic screening activity.

The workshop also allowed the community leaders to learn more about the systematic screening intervention, ask questions, and provide input into how best the program can be tailored to serve the communities better.

As part of the workshop, the community leaders also worked in groups to identify screening sites in their various communities that would be easily accessible to the population for the screening program.

Community engagement has always been an effective way of creating awareness.

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