PNG faces TB crisis with 35,000 new cases each year, warns NGO

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Businesses for Health will host a street festival in Port Moresby on March 22 to create more awareness about TB. Video: EMTV News

By Lillian Keneqa in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea is facing a tuberculosis crisis, says the non-government organisation Businesses for Health (B4H) citing new research.

The country currently ranks 10th globally for rates of TB and has 35,000 new cases every year with 6000 of these in the nation’s capital Port Moresby.

After launching their Women in TB project on Friday, B4H announced that it would host a street festival on March 22 to create more awareness about TB.

“Ending TB means everyone must focus on facts about the size of the problem,” said a B4H spokesperson.

“Thousands die unnecessarily of drug susceptible and drug resistant TB. Drug resistant treatment success rate is less than 50 percent. Last year, there were 2000 reported cases of drug resistant TB in NCD alone.

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“Sadly health workers are also at high risk of being infected and sick with TB disease more than any other group.”

Businesses for health PNG believes that it is time to stop people dying unnecessarily of a curable disease.

Lillian Keneqa is an EMTV News reporter and a University of Papua New Guinea journalism graduate. This article is republished with permission.

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