By Fabian Hakalits – EM TV Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea is ranked second, in the Western Pacific region, for the the increase of Tuberculosis (TB), in the past five years.
According to National Health Department, “the TB crisis, if not addressed urgently, will become an unmanageable national disaster.”
The National Health Department needs additional funding, to fully implement the National Strategic Plan 2015 to 2020, for TB control programs in the country.
According to Acting TB Program Manager, Dr Margaret Kal, there’s a shortfall in this year’s budget, appropriated by the National Government, and cannot cater for the National Strategic Plan’s full implementation.
Dr Kal said it costs K408 million, to fully implement the six year plan. However, only K209 million was allocated.
The focus of the National Strategic Plan is to improve TB control activities throughout the country, including the management of hotspots:
- National Capital District
- Western Province
- Gulf Province
Strong government stewardship and accountability is needed, with strong coalition between partners; civil society organisations; and communities for effective control.
A brief on the TB control status in Papua New Guinea was sent to Prime Minister Peter O&rsquO’Neill.