9 Apr 2007

Marshalls registers TB rate four time higher than rest of Pacific

9:16 am on 9 April 2007

Figures released in the Marshall Islands show the country's tuberculosis rate is nearly four times that of the Pacific regional average.

The Ministry of Health says there were 126 new cases last year, giving the country a rate of 217 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

By comparison, the rate is now 47 times higher than in the United States.

But an official from the US Centers for Disease Control, Subroto Banerji, says efforts are under way to tackle the problem.

Mr Banerji says the screening programme is backed up by functioning laboratories at hospitals in the two urban centers of Majuro and Ebeye, coupled with the direct observation therapy.