25 Mar 2004

Papua New Guineans called to co-operate to fight TB

4:07 pm on 25 March 2004

The two main Papua New Guinea cities, Port Moresby and Lae, are riddled with tuberculosis and anyone living there has a high chance of contracting the disease.

The Health Secretary Dr Nicholas Mann and the National Capital District TB Association manager, Dr Joe Banakoiri, said this on Wednesday during a event to mark World TB Day.

The two urged people to co-operate and fight the disease which is killing 1000 people a day in the Western Pacific region.

The Post Courier reports Dr Banakoiri saying TB is a big problem in PNG, especially in the coastal areas and is now spreading to the Highlands.

He says PNG is one of seven high burden countries within the Western Pacific..

Dr Banakoiri says many of the people who could make some signficant difference are not putting in the effort required.

PNG introduced the directly observed treatment short-course programme or DOTS eight years ago but Dr Banakoiri says not much progress has been made.