Focus on TB

The month of March brings attention back to tuberculosis – a top killer disease in PNG.

March 24 is the World Tuberculosis Day, but senior technical advisor on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), Dr Anh Innes, says world TB day should be every day.

This means increasing awareness on TB and her main message is that TB can be cured.

She said the idea was to find it early, detect early and initiate treatment.

"Even for drug-resistant TB patients, they can be cured," she said.

Dr Innes was in Port Moresby last week and conducted a one-day workshop to equip awareness among a few physicians and health care practitioners from around the country.

The workshop was to impart skills on cardiology so the health professionals can better support their patients on drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) treatment.

Dr Innes stressed that with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) treatment, patients can experience side effects on the heart but will rarely lead to death.

Hence, recently there has been an increasing level of support, monitoring and management for the DR-TB patients.

“Sometimes patients can have symptoms and other abnormalities that can be found on an electrocardiogram (electric tracing of the heart).

“So the key is finding this early and manage them well…and if so then the patient can be very well,” she said.

Gloria Bauai