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Tuberculosis (TB) claims many lives each day, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In Papua New Guinea, TB is a major public health crisis and impacts people livelihoods as well as the economy of the country.

The National Department of Health (NDOH) together with development partners and NGO’s are working together to reduce the spread of the disease.

Since 2016, Oil Search Foundation (OSF) has been working alongside the Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA) to bring the necessary medical help and education needed to treat TB in the local communities.

“OSF’s ongoing support to Hela PHA has resulted in the training of two specialist TB nurses, facilitated numerous in-house trainings for other health staff and supported the successful treatment of drug-resistant TB patients.”
- Stephanie Copus-Campbell Executive Director, OSF

“I am also pleased that through our longstanding and strong relationships with Hela PHA and the Catholic Church Health Services, OSF has helped to form the TB Working Group Committee (TWG) to help coordinate TB program activities and provide a link to the National TB Program and other national partners,” adds Copus-Campbell.

She further adds, “OSF’s is supporting the Hela PHA to refurbish and strengthen two TB treatment facilities (known as Basic Management Units (BMU) in Koroba and Magarima District Hospitals. We are also assisting the PHA to undertake a site inspection at Magarima by the national TB program. This will enable the hospital to qualify for the much needed GeneXpert (a device that detects TB and drug-resistant TB in a matter of minutes) from the National Department of Health.”

CEO for Hela PHA, Dr James Kintwa said: “ we are also strengthening our current services and have recently selected Halongoli Urban Clinic  as a model  TB training centre that detects TB cases and refers them to the Hela Provincial Hospital for confirmation, then manages those cases that are confirmed .”

“Upskilling training was also conducted in Koroba Station for twelve district Health workers with another twelve health volunteers (VHVs) trained to be TB treatment supporters.” adds Dr Kintwa.

Commitments from both OSF and Hela PHA to tackle TB in the province is a priority and ensuring technical support to facilitate the roll-out of TB awareness, prevention, detection and treatment continues to be carried out in the province.