Friday 24th of March is marked as World TB Day and it commemorates the day when the bacteria “Mycobacterium Tuberculosis” was discovered.
Tuberculosis is a serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs is spread when someone that has TB coughs or sneezes and doesn’t cover their mouth, the bacteria goes in the air.
There are 2 types of TB; Pulmonary and Non-Pulmonary.
Pulmonary TB is TB of the lungs while Non-Pulmonary TB is TB of other parts of the body.
People with active tuberculosis, the bacteria multiplies in the body, causing noticeable symptoms and the bacteria can spread from one person to another.
People with Latent tuberculosis do not have any symptoms and cannot spread TB bacteria as the bacteria is inactive.
Dr Ann Clark from Businesses4Health: TB said that if Tuberculosis is found early then it is 100% curable.
“Children are more vulnerable to getting Tuberculosis because they are at the stage where their immune system is not as strong as adults.”
“People living with HIV, older people, people who have not had BCG as a child have weaker defences against Tuberculosis.”
“We also know that smoking, chewing buai and poor health because they don’t eat properly, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes make people more vulnerable to TB.”
Dr Ann added that if you have unexplained weight loss, coughing for over a week and having night sweats, get tested at the health centre and treated for TB quickly.
She said that medication for TB is important and people must complete their dose in order to be cured of TB.
She also said that if you don’t complete your medication or go back on treatment after awhile then you might end up having drug resistant TB which is harder to treat.
According to Businesses4Health in 2021, it was estimated that there were 42, 000 cases of Tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea and more than 5, 200 people died from TB.
Meanwhile, at the PNGFM Limited Office, The TB warden, Mr George Kavil gave a presentation to staff on the basics of how TB is spread and the different types of TB and how to avoid spreading TB in the Workplace.