Papua New Guinea
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TB cases increased by over 9,000

Secretary for Health, Dr Osborne Liko, has noted the rise in TB cases in the country, saying over 9,600 cases have been reported by health facilities in the first quarter of 2023.

“This is expected to translate into a further increase in TB cases in 2023,” he pointed out.

“The number of TB cases have increased from 30,000 notifications in 2021 to 37,000 in 2022. This represents a 19 percent increase in number of cases reported to our major hospitals.”

In light of the situation, Secretary Dr Liko said the Department of Health, through the national TB program, has taken the following actions:

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

“In addition, I have written to the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea to facilitate fast clearance of foreign exchange for the purchase of TB drugs,” said Dr Liko.

“This is an issue beyond our scope of operation and we seek understanding from our partner government agencies.

“The expected time of arrival for the usual supply of drugs is August 10th.

“Logistics contractors have been placed on standby to urgently clear and deliver the drugs as soon as they arrive in the country.”