While observing World TB Day at Porebada village in Central Province last week, WHO country representative Dr Luo Dapeng said that in PNG about 36,000 people fell ill with TB in 2017, about 5300 died from the disease, The Post Courier reported.
Health Department's executive manager of public health Dr Sibauk Bieb said the drug-resistant form of TB had higher rates on Daru Island which ranked PNG the 10th country in the world.
"In Daru, it is estimated that every person that contracts the disease, 15 others are infected.
"Although, PNG has made some progress in its fight against TB it is still a huge problem where Daru Island, Western and Gulf, Central provinces and the National Capital District are the TB hotspot areas," he said. He said 6000 new cases of TB are reported in the NCD every year, that is 500 every month, about 48 every day."
The data also revealed that while most of these cases made a full recovery, TB was responsible for the deaths of about 10 people in PNG every day.
The theme for the World TB Day 2019 was ‘Let's kick TB out; it's time to act now'.
Dapeng said that in the world every day, about 4500 people lose their lives to TB and every day about 30,000 people fall ill with TB.
"For PNG, drug-resistant TB poses an even bigger threat to us all and to our country's prosperity," he said.
Dapeng said some messages he would convey to the people of PNG was; help those who were infected with TB to be identified and ensured that they received proper diagnosis and access to treatment.
"In order to do this, we must not stigmatise or discriminate as TB is contagious because it is airborne.
"Stigmatisation causes people to ignore or hide the symptoms and thus refuse diagnosis and treatment and that does not help anybody," Dapeng said