~ Today is World TB Day – March 24th 2015 ~

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has the highest rate of TB in the Pacific region, however, a strong partnership between the PNG National Government and NGOs have co-ordinated to develop strategies as part of the plan to reduce the number of TB cases occurring throughout PNG. The PNG Government have allocated additional funding for health throughout PNG. These additional funds have been used towards upgrading hospital facilities to allow for more effective treatment of TB. The PNG Government recognises the seriousness of TB throughout PNG, and is a strong supporter of the World TB Day.
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill recently launched the National TB awareness campaign, to begin the education process on TB, and to get people to understand the seriousness of this disease.
World Vision is also making great strides towards achieving global standards of cure rates of TB and is working with the PNG National Department of Health.
Since 2007, 80% of the nation’s population has been reached with the life-saving education about TB while access to free detection and treatment services has been made widely available to Papua New Guineans.
“PNG is reaching milestones in the reduction of TB with increased Government commitment and dedication by partners across all 22 provinces,” said World Vision PNG’s Country Director, Dr Curt von Boguslawski.
PNG’s National TB Program (NTP) is led by the National Department of Health, in collaboration with NGOs on the ground implementing effective TB programs across PNG. Provincial governments and NGO partners – World Vision, World Health Organisation, Hope Worldwide and Jane Thompson Associates International – have joined Papua New Guineans to significantly improve health.
The theme of this year’s World Tuberculosis Day is “ reach, treat, cure everyone” Every year, on 24 March, the world marks World TB Day (WTBD), one of the world’s top health challenges with 9 million new TB cases and the deaths of nearly 1.5 million people each year. The Day is an occasion to mobilise political and social commitment for further progress towards eliminating TB as a public health burden.
For World TB Day 2015, we are calling on all partners to continue to call for a global effort to continue their commitment to find, treat and cure all people with TB and accelerate progress towards the bold goal of ending TB by 2035. Advocating and acting together will bring, step-by-step, a future without TB. World Tuberculosis Day reminds us we can achieve its eradication in our lifetime.
PM O’Neill fights for a TB free PNG – Thanks to Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill’s health initiative and free health care we have seen more people receiving access to health care, being tested, raising awareness and undergoing free treatment.
Port Moresby General Hospital works to improve treatment of TB in PNG  –  The Board and CEO of PMGH have placed a high priority on improving TB patient care and treatment. The hospital has undergone additional improvements and additional facilities to improve the treatment of these patients. The PMGH CEO commented, “This is a disease that is curable. However, people need to understand that if mismanaged or left untreated it is a life threatening disease. At PMGH, we are doing everything we can to support the reduction of TB in Port Moresby. We are committed to supporting this on-going fight of TB. We will continue to look at ways we can improve our treatment methods, our facilities to treat TB patients and how we can be part of the solution in PNG to reduce the infection rate.”
Over the next few days, we will be posting more information about TB, so please check back soon. If you suspect you may have TB, please see your doctor at your local urban health clinic.