Arduous and lengthy treatment of tuberculosis

Papua New Guinea

We are working to improve access to screening and treatment for tuberculosis (TB) in Papua New Guinea.

In collaboration with the national TB programme, our team has been scaling up the capacities for screening, diagnosis, treatment initiation and follow-up in Port Moresby’s Gerehu hospital. Mobile teams work in the community to improve patient adherence to treatment.

In Gulf province, our TB programme supports two health centres as well as Kerema general hospital.

In 2020, MSF teams responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, treating patients in Port Moresby and training medical staff in 22 provinces.

Our activities in 2021 in Papua New Guinea

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Papua New Guinea in 2021 In Papua New Guinea (PNG), Médecins Sans Frontières focuses on improving tuberculosis (TB) care, particularly for patients with drug-resistant forms of the disease.

In July 2021, we completed the handover of our TB project to health authorities in Kerema, which included screening, diagnosis, inpatient care, awareness-raising activities and patient follow-up. Of the almost 4,000 TB patients we diagnosed between 2014 and 2021, more than 2,000 completed their treatment and 1,000 were cured.  

In the capital, Port Moresby, we expanded our activities in Six Mile district after we noticed that a significant proportion of new multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) patients were coming from this area. We implemented activities to curb the spread of the disease by screening contacts of confirmed TB patients and offering them preventive treatment. We also started to assist with the rehabilitation of government facilities and the construction of a new TB clinic and laboratory.  

For MDR-TB patients, we initiated treatment with all-oral regimens that improved treatment outcomes.  

While PNG did not experience major COVID-19 outbreaks until March 2021, the rapid increase in cases after that stretched the health system to the point of collapse. We supported a national treatment facility in Port Moresby, which had 43 beds for moderately to severely ill patients.

in 2021
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