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Highest incidence of the contagious disease

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 27, 2010) – New figures released by the World Health Organisation show Papua New Guinea has the highest rates of new tuberculosis (TB) cases in the region.

Its report says PNG is one of its high burden areas, with 14,000 new infections a year, compared with 1,500 cases in the rest of the Pacific.

The World Health organsiation has a program underway to help stop the spread of TB which is a bacterial disease spread through the air and generally affecting the lungs.

Dr Daniel Sagebiel, from the organisation's Western Pacific Regional Office, says one of the problems they face is having enough qualified staff to treat those affected.

"First of all there is a high turnover of staff in that region and it is also difficult to access remote areas so for that we really need to invest into training."

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