NDOH reveals increase in TB cases

The National Department of Health (NDOH) is currently dealing with a noticeable increase in the number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases nationwide.

Secretary for Health Dr. Osborne Liko said the number of TB cases increased from 30,000 notifications in 2021 to 37, 000 in 2022. This represents a 19% increase in the number of cases to major hospitals.

He said he has written to the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea to facilitate fast clearance of foreign exchange for the purchase of TB drugs.

Dr. Liko said the expected time of arrival of the usual supply is August 10, 2023.

“Logistics contractors have been replaced on standby to urgently clear and deliver the drugs as soon as they arrived in the country,” he said

He said this is an issue beyond the department’s scope of operation and seek understanding from partnering government agencies.

Dr. Liko said the spread of TB can be prevented by avoiding crowded areas, ensuring that cases are quickly reported and ensure that TB patients complete medications.

NDOH through the National TB Program have undertaken the following actions;

  • Source additional funds to plug funding shortfalls partly triggered by the increase in TB cases
  • Reallocated TB drugs and facilities to affected areas with the biggest need
  • Request development partners to assist with supplying drugs as donations or through drug lending arrangements within the region.
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