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70,000 Daru Islanders have the chance of combating Tuberculosis

By Jacob Marcus, DoH Journalist 

The 70, 000 population of Daru Island has a huge chance of combating tuberculosis (TB) if they turn up for TB checkups at sites.

The department had purchased a new user-friendly state of the art TB screening machine from Netherlands that worth K1.3 million especially to serve the people of Daru and they must not miss that opportunity, according to the health department.
“Daru is TB hot spot in the country. It is estimated that every person that contracts the disease, 15 others are infected,” the deputy secretary for health-National Health Standard Service (NHSS) Dr Paison Dakulala said.

“We need community responses as it is important to take aggressive measures to end TB in Daru,” Dr Dakulala is also the co-chair of the Emergency Response for TB (ERT) in the country said.
The island saw an increasing cases of TB and multidrug resistance (MDRTB) that took lives of innocent family in that eponymous town prior to the declaration of an emergency in 2014 and it is still eminent now, according to the department.
However, the NDoH had vigorously taken drastic measures to “kick TB out of Daru with the support of the partners,” the chairman said adding that the department is adapting to the demands to the challenges.

“Daru or the country has best medicines and the new mode of screening too right to cure the TB/MDRTB now! Daru has it right here,” he said.
“So you must go get yourself checked with our new machine that will detected whether you have TB or not. If you have TB, you get the medicines and get healed,” the ERT chairman told a capacity crowd during the unveiling of the TB Mobile Clinic on Thursday last week.
“It is called the systematic screening initiative which will be provided for all islanders for checkups. It won’t take any minute to do the checkup so I encourage everyone to go for that checkup,” Dr Dakulala urged.
The mobile clinic featured popular PNG rugby league star and captain of Hunters Ase Boas kicking the rugby ball out of which depicts the country is kicking TB out of Daru once and for all.
It is understood that TB will be once a thing of the past for the 14.7km2 elliptical island if the islanders do an obligatory checkup.

Dr Dakulala thanked the PNG RFL and the Hunters Team, overseas partners such World Bank, World Vision, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, World Health Organization Burnett Institute, Australian High Commission and HSIP for their effort in the program.
Meanwhile, the Daru hospital Chief Executive Officer Orpah Tugua has said that the hospital recorded 300 drug-susceptible TB patients and 78 multidrug resistance TB patients. Ms Tugua estimates that there are five new cases every month.


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