World Health Organisation reports that globally, TB incidence is falling by 2 percent per year.
But still, this needs to be accelerated to a 4-5 percent annual decline to reach the 2020 milestones of the End TB strategy.
This epidemic mostly affects developing countries, including PNG, who has over the years been trying to align with the global strategy to end TB.
The more challenging in the country is the multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). In fact, WHO confirms MDR-TB remains a public health crisis and health threat globally.
In a recent interview, expert Dr Anh Innes, a senior technical advisor on MDR-TB, said generally, PNG has made progress in this area.
However, this does not change that there are still challenges faced in the country.
Dr Innes visited Daru in Western Province – a known TB hotspot – in the last week of February.
She noted Daru hospital being one of two other places in the country utilising a new TB drug for its DR-TB patients.
Another exciting progress was the mobile van which screens the population in Daru for TB.
“There’s been good commitment from National Department of Health and other stakeholders and organisations. The main message is to find it early, detect early and initiate treatment.”
Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.
(Dr Anh Innes)