US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment

THE US government has donated laboratory and clinical equipment to the value of K270,000 to the Papua New Guinea government’s health departments.
US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment US donates anti-TB, HIV lab equipment

The equipment will be distributed to clinics in Daru, Western Province, and Port Moresby.

The handover was done by ambassador Catherin Ebert-Gray at the Lawes Road Clinic in Port Moresby and she said that the essential supplies were needed to fight the spread of both Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and HIV-AIDS in Papua New Guinea.

"The equipment will enable doctors to provide quality care to their patients. It is expected that the deployment and efficient use of this equipment will enhance the ability to monitor for tuberculosis and HIV and proper physical examinations for all categories of patients," Ebert-Gray said.

The donation was provided by the US Agency for International Development, through the Challenge TB Project.

In PNG, the US government spends about K21 million annually to fight the spread of HIV, in partnership with the PNG Department of Health.

Ebert-Gray was joined at the handover by PNG health officials Dr Paison Dakulala, Dr Lutty Amos, and Dr Pieter van Maaren, country representative for the World Health Organisation.

Papua New Guinea has the second highest tuberculosis prevalence in the Western Pacific Region, with an estimated TB incidence of 348 per 100,000 and prevalence of 541 per 100,000. The country also has the highest incidence and HIV prevalence in the Pacific, predominantly driven by heterosexual transmission and associated with untreated sexually transmitted infections.

The US Embassy said that TB and HIV presented major challenges to the health system in PNG and to mitigate the impact of these challenges, the US government was working in collaboration with other donors, including the Australian Department for Foreign Aid and Trade, and the UN agencies.

"Putting Papua New Guinean leadership - both government and civil society - into an empowered and accountable position to meet the needs of their populations is the most effective means of achieving a sustainable HIV program," Ebert-Gray said.

"Together, with our unwavering and long-term commitment to your efforts, we will turn the tide on HIV/AIDS."

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