Sunday, November 29, 2015

Drug-resistant TB high in Daru

THE number of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) cases per 1000 population in Daru, Western, are among the highest in the world, a doctor said.
World Health Organisation country representative Dr Peiter Van Mareen told that to a meeting in Port Moresby on Wednesday with PNG and Australian Government representatives.
They discussed ways to accelerate help for TB epidemic on the island.
“This problem is not by far under control, and for this reason a very strong emergency response is required,” Van Mareen said. He said that given the country’s geographical nature, difficulties and access to health facilities were a major challenge.
“We have a situation in Western province where multi-drug resistance TB has developed, we are talking about a totally different situation,” he said.
He said multi-drug resistance took a long time to treat and was very expensive to deal with.
He said that it caused a lot of pain and suffering, and was often a financial burden besides family members being affected by the disease. “This is not a problem that we will be able to solve in a couple of years.” Van Mareen said.
“We may have five to 10 years of effectively addressing this problem with all the efforts of the partners and the government.”
He said the Australian Government, WHO and government partners had discussed how they could appeal to the international community and to obtain to deal with.
He said there were many partners led by the Health Department to address the problem and needed more awareness to be carried out.
“We are fully aware of the problem but the population and many policy makers may actually not be fully aware of the magnitude.”