PNG's increased TB cases a "good sign"

8:38 pm on 18 February 2015

World Vision's Papua New Guinea chapter says the national tuberculosis programme is showing positive results with an increase in the number of detected cases.

The programme has this month received a boost with the Global Fund decision to extend a grant of 18 million US dollars to be implemented by World Vision, aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in PNG.

In the last few years, about 30,000 new cases of TB have been diagnosed annually in PNG.

World Vision's PNG country director Curt von Boguslawski says this is a good sign because

poor collection of health data meant only around 5000 cases were detected five years ago.

He says if you don't have the detection, you can't treat the disease.

"It might seem odd that the case numbers are increasing but it's actually a very good sign because we learn much more about the disease and we know that if we have cases detected, we can also treat them and cure them."

Curt von Boguslawski says the PNG Health Department is strongly committed to countering tuberculosis, and is making the right moves to address TB in areas where it is a serious threat, notably the National Capital District, Western and Gulf provinces.

One of the villages of Motu KoItabu, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

One of the villages of Motu KoItabu, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades