Poor tuberculosis control among adults in Papua New Guinea is fueling a rapid increase in the number of TB cases among children in the country, the World Health Organization's country office said recently, the National reports. In a recent newsletter, WHO said that Papua New Guinea is "far from achieving" global and national TB control targets.
The country's National Tuberculosis Program, which implements the DOTS strategy, is detecting about 20% of estimated new sputum smear-positive cases, and about 60% of those cases undergo successful treatment, according to WHO.
The DOTS case detection target is 70%, and the treatment success target is 85%. WHO said that until recently, Papua New Guinea's TB control program has not included a plan for controlling the disease among children.
The organization said it plans to help the country in obtaining high-quality, liquid TB drugs that will be easier for children to take.
Papua New Guinea's Department of Health in September received a grant of $21 million from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. WHO said the grant will help to expand the Stop TB Strategy nationwide during the next five years.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation