Stop TB in Daru
In Papua New Guinea’s Western Province, which is just 150 kilometres off the coast of mainland Queensland, there are many people living in poverty and isolation from health services. Crowded living conditions and poor sanitation worsen the spread of illness and as a result, TB poses a major threat to these isolated communities.
As a solution, World Vision is implementing the Stop TB Project in the region’s capital of Daru. Funded by the Australian Government, this project is easing pressure on the local healthcare system and drastically improving treatment completion rates.
World Vision operates five Daru Accelerated Response to Tuberculosis (DART) sites across the island every day. Here, Treatment Supporters administer DOTS and at midday each day, patients receive a fresh, healthy meal. This provides them with the necessary nutrition their bodies need to deal with such strong antibiotics, while also encouraging their attendance.
“The rule is if you don’t get your medicine you will not be getting the lunch,” says Sonia, Stop TB National Project Manager. “Because they want to get lunch, then more and more patients came every day.”
Trained Treatment Supporters also monitor the attendance of each of their patients, visiting them at home if they miss a dose, or can’t make it to the DART site. Beyond this, these dedicated team members offer important moral support and guidance to their patients.
Daisy, a Head Treatment Supporter, believes this part of her job is vital to her patients’ recovery. “They talk to us, they sit with us and we talk to them. We make them to laugh,” she says. “Staying close to the patients … that’s how you will give tender care to the patient.”