19 Jun 2013

Vanuatu government and traditional healers fight TB together

1:35 pm on 19 June 2013

Health officials in Vanuatu say they hope to collaborate with traditional healers to reduce the rate of tuberculosis.

A team from the National Tuberculosis Programme is analysing a study done on traditional healers, to find out how they can work together to combat the disease.

The National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Coordinator, Markleen Tagaro, says people living in rural areas prefer traditional clinics because they find it expensive and difficult to travel to the government's health centres.

He says the Health Ministry hopes to give well known traditional healers from each province better training in how to deal with people infected with TB.

"The important thing here is if we can collaborate with them, we can train them to identify signs and symptoms of tuberculosis and then they can refer any suspects to the health clinic in their areas."

Markleen Tagaro.

The Vanuatu Health Ministry's statistics show about 120 people are reported to be infected with TB each year.