PEOPLE do not have to die through tuberculosis, it is up to everyone to work together and overcome the disease.
That was the message from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill on World TB Day yesterday.
He called on people around the country to continue to take action in their homes and communities.
O’Neill thanked the people of Australia for their Government’s ongoing partnership with Papua New Guinea to fight TB.
He said with TB affecting thousands of people the Government was increasing investment in healthcare, infrastructure and medical staff to turn the tide against the disease, but everyone should do their part.
“TB is preventable and this comes down to cleanliness and hygiene for everyone,” O’Neill said.
“This involves simple actions such as covering your mouth when you are coughing and wash your hands.
“I call on people who chew buai to be respectful of others and not to spit in public places.
“TB can be easily spread by people who spit, so I ask you to respect other people in your community and not do this.”
He said TB was curable but people should take action.
“Everyone needs to be aware of its symptoms and seek medical help if they experience night sweats, coughing for more than two weeks, extreme weight loss or ongoing tiredness.
“There is a cure for TB and it is free at nearly 300 TB clinics throughout the country.
“If you have TB symptoms, you should visit a TB clinic or any medical centre and they will help you to get better,” he said. O’Neill called on people to help their family members who were taking medication to ensure they took their full course of drugs.
“If you do not take your full course of medicine, even if you think you are feeling better, you are at risk of becoming drug resistant.
“People who are given TB medication must take every last tablet or the TB will come back even worse and this is how many people die.
“I ask all family members to know that your relatives take their full course of TB medicine.”