Burnet Institute welcomes a new health security initiative involving Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the World Bank to address multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in PNG.
The Australian Government will contribute approximately $20 million in grant funding to the Emergency Tuberculosis Project.
This initiative, announced by Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop MP, will provide additional international expertise and finance to help deliver treatment and prevention services to vulnerable communities across PNG.
The project will also strengthen aspects of PNG’s health security system including laboratory testing and technical and managerial training for health workers.
In addition to Australia’s contribution, the World Bank will provide a further $20 million in the form of a concessional loan.
Burnet Deputy Director Associate Professor David Anderson, said this funding was a huge step forward in the fight against MDR-TB in Papua New Guinea.
“We welcome the collaborative approach between the Australian and Papua New Guinean Governments and significant contribution by the World Bank,” Associate Professor Anderson said.
“As partners in the Western Province TB response that has resulted in dramatic improvements in the detection and effective treatment of TB in Daru, we are encouraged by this additional support.”
Burnet’s RID-TB team has been a partner since 2014 in the Western Province TB program, based in the provincial capital of Daru, where the rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB), including extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) are among the highest recorded globally at a sub-national level.
Our research team provides support to the province for:
- Development of plans and priority activities for a timely, effective response
- The design and rapid implementation of effective systems for TB diagnosis, care and treatment focusing on case management at Daru General Hospital
- Uptake of new tools, interventions and strategies that will accelerate the response to TB
- Monitoring, evaluation and analysis of the response
- Clinical support and capacity development for TB program staff
The Australian Government’s support for the Emergency Tuberculosis Project complements Australia’s existing commitment of $220 million to the Fifth Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2017-19).
Results achieved through the Global Fund in PNG include the detection and treatment of more than 33,000 cases of TB.