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Arduous and lengthy treatment of tuberculosis

Papua New Guinea

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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.

Our activities in 2023 in Papua New Guinea

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2023.

MSF in Papua New Guinea in 2023 Médecins Sans Frontières’ work in Papua New Guinea focused on reducing the high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) through improved prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment. In 2023, we handed over these activities.
PNG IAR map 2023

Our teams collaborated with the national TB programme in two facilities in Port Moresby, the capital: at Gerehu hospital from 2015 and at Six Mile clinic from 2022, providing care to patients with drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB) and harder-to-cure, drug-resistant forms of the disease (DR-TB).

In a bid to prevent the spread of the disease, we conducted our community-based outreach and health promotion work in high-risk areas – especially in low-income and densely populated neighbourhoods with poor sanitation. Our teams also offered preventive TB treatment to close contacts of confirmed DS-TB patients.

Throughout the years, our teams worked with local health authorities and their staff to consolidate the technical capacity of TB treatment in these areas. In 2023, as the project reached its objectives of setting up a comprehensive system of TB prevention, early detection, treatment and patient follow-up, we gradually handed it over to the provincial health authority.

Local health workers and doctors were trained in specific testing procedures, while laboratory technicians were taught how to use the sophisticated GeneXpert molecular testing machine for rapid diagnosis. Patient education, counselling and outreach activities were also part of this capacity-building endeavour.

In addition, to contribute to research on TB diagnosis worldwide, MSF carried out a study comparing the performance of ultrasound to chest X-ray in the diagnosis of pulmonary TB. If results are comparable, they would demonstrate easier and more efficient implementation in resource-limited settings.


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