New TB isolation ward opens in PNG’s Western Province

Tracy Parish

08 July, 2013

Dr Rendi Moke, Provincial TB Physician Western Province and Nurse Konia Sampson, TB Nurse Aid, in the new TB ward. Photo: Andrew Gavin / AusAID

The effort to stop tuberculosis (TB) in Papua New Guinea has received a boost with the opening of new specialist treatment facilities at Daru General Hospital in PNG’s Western Province.

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Senator The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite, opened the 22-bed TB and isolation ward at Daru General Hospital with PNG Minister for Health and HIV, the Hon Michael Malabag MP.

Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb welcomed the announcement.

“Many people are unaware of the enormous global and regional significance of tuberculosis, especially in its drug resistant form,” he said.

“These new specialist treatment facilities are a significant contribution to addressing what is a major health concern in PNG.”

The ward comprises six isolation rooms that meet international standards for isolation of airborne infections, as well as a 16-bed ward for patients recovering from TB.

The new ward is part of Australia’s $33 million commitment to support the Government of PNG’s approach to detection and treatment of TB in Western Province.

For more information visit the AusAID website.

Burnet’s TB research and public health focus

Of most concern is the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB, a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the two most powerful, first-line, anti-TB drugs.

The focus of much of our work involves:

  • Monitoring drug-resistant TB in the Pacific
  • Understanding how these drug resistant strains spread within certain populations in Africa and Papua New Guinea.
  • Looking at how we can help build the most appropriate health systems to deal with this emerging problem.
  • Developing new rapid diagnostic tools to help manage patient care
  • Developing potential TB assays
  • Providing epidemiological support to the assessment of patterns of TB

Find out more about Burnet’s TB work.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Tracy Parish

Executive General Manager, Marketing and Communications




[email protected]

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