PUBLIC PARTLY TO BLAME FOR TB RISE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (January 21, 1999 - PACNEWS/NBC)---Carelessness on the part of Papua New Guinea's people is part of the reason for the increased incidence of tuberculosis in the country.

That is the assessment of PNG's Acting Health Secretary, Dr. Timothy Pyakaliya.

He said the lack of public commitment and responsibility is one of the main contributing factors to the increase in tuberculosis.

Dr. Pyakaliya said most TB patients in PNG rely purely on health workers to help them get well, without taking any of the responsibility themselves. To overcome the disease, he stressed, patients must strictly follow the full six months treatment required.

He also blamed the lack of government financial support for PNG being unable to fight TB effectively.

Other Asia-Pacific countries --including China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia-- also are being threatened by a rise in the incidence of tuberculosis.

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