World TB Day is commemorated on March 24th annually. Millions of people from all over the world, from different ages and walks of life come together to honor the day in remembrance of the loved ones they have lost to TB and those that were ones and currently infected with TB.
This report looks at the World TB Day of March 24th, 2013 in the Western province of Papua New Guinea. For the first time this year, all three districts commemorated World TB Day also including the mining township of Tabubil also in the North Fly District. The events are as follows:
Community Health Workers TB Training
About fifteen Community Health Workers looking after the South Fly District were brought to a central location in Daru to undergo training on the DOTS strategy to equip them with basic TB knowledge on standard TB diagnosis and treatment. Those who attended were awarded with certificates of participation.
The Advocacy Communication and Social and Mobilization team were out in communities in the three districts carrying out TB awareness to public.
In South Fly District, the team went into all the corners of Daru Island advocating to the people about TB.
In the Middle Fly district, TB awareness was carried out into rural areas in conjunctions with the supervisory visits to local BMUs in the area.
In the North Fly District, the National TB program mascot visited schools to advocate on TB in and around the township of Kiunga. IEC materials were distributed to the schools for teachers and students to read and know more about TB. Since it was the first visit for Dotsy to the district most people were curious about the TB program and many wanted to know where they can get more information about TB.
Radio Fly TB talk-back show and TB Awareness programs
In the lead up to World TB Day, the National Broadcasting Commission was going on air with TB awareness messages reaching the mass population in very remote areas where newspapers and other forms of communication was not available. The TB team in the province also did talkback shows with Radio Fly through OK Tedi Mining limited for the North Fly district that can also be heard in parts of East and West Sepik provinces.
World TB Day Commemoration
The three districts commemorated World TB Day on different days due to the actual date March 24th being a Sunday. World TB Day T-shirts were produced and distributed to all the districts for their even
South Fly District
World TB Day was commemorated on Friday, March 22, 2013 on Daru Island. Many government departments, church groups, schools and business houses took part in the WTBD march from Daru General Hospital to the main sports oval where the main ceremony was held.
Communities including women's group marching to commemorate World TB Day on Daru Island in the South Fly District of Western Province
Students who took part in the kite competition were given prices and the first price was given to the kite with the Stop TB theme. Certificate of appreciation were also give to business houses who have contributed their resources to assist the roll out of the TB program in Western province especially the South Fly District. They include NBC, Maru Marines, Mayfuels and New Century. Speeches were also made by the TB implementing partners in the district like Daru hospital CEO Sr. Joseph, Director Rural Health Services Mrs. Alice Honjepari, World Vision’s operational manager Mr. Joseph Kapis to name a few. A local band and cultural group also performed to entertain the crowd.
Middle Fly District
World TB Day for the Middle Fly was commemorated on Friday March 22, in Balimo. A float show started at one end of town and ended at the main field. Since this is the first time for the district to host the World TB Day event many curious onlookers joined the float.
It was a half day event with speeches from the representatives from the different organizations. A drama group also performed a skit to help people understand the spread of TB. Five cured TB patients also shared their stories about TB diagnosis and treatment and the stigma related with TB. After that a major TB awareness was staged with time for the public to ask questions. IEC materials were then distributed to the general public.
North Fly District
The North Fly District commemorated World TB Day in three different locations due to scatted population in the area. IEC materials were also distributed to all the areas to distribute to commemorate the day.
Kiunga – commemorated world TB day on Thursday, March 21 with students from Kiunga town primary school, PNGDF soldiers and Dotsy the National TB program mascot leading the march around Kiunga town to the ECPNG church ground where the main event was held.
Disease Control Officer leading the march with the Kiunga based PNGDF Soldiers to mark World TB Day.
TB awareness was given by the Kiunga based hospital physician and the disease control officer. Invited guest from the district like the provincial administrator and the district health manager were not in the districts at that time and were able to attend the event.
Teachers from Kiunga town primary school also performed a drama skit. The ECPNG church band also provided entertainment. Dotsy also entertained the general public with her first appearance in Kiunga to mark World TB Day. IEC materials including posters, brochures, balloons, Stickers, information cards were distributed on the day.
Rumginae commemorated World TB day with community outreach into villages to advocate on TB. Students from the Rumginae School of Nursing joined the health care workers from the hospital to visit the villages and talk to the people about TB. IEC materials were also distributed in the communities.
The mining township of Tabubil commemorated World TB Day on Friday, March 22 also with a march from Tabubil hospital to the main town centre. Dotsy also travelled from Kiunga to Tabubil and joined the float on that day.
Ok Tedi Mining Limited in partnership with the hospital organized the event to coincide with the launching of the newly purchased Gene X-pert machine for the hospital. Students from Tabubil primary school also took part in the walk with the brass band.
Speeches were given by representatives from the different organizations:
– Dr. Rendi Moke representing the National TB Program and World Vision.
– Ms. Margaret Samei, the administrator for Tabubil hospital.
– Mr. John Kelopon, Disease Control Officer
– Mr. Erick Kuman, OTML Training Manager.
Dr. Moke highlighted on the TB situation in Western province as a whole with the number of TB cases. He also mentioned that partnership is very vital in the fight against TB and thanked companies like OK Tedi Mining Limited for its continuous support to the TB program in the province.
The Gene X-pert was launched during the World TB Day Commemoration in Tabubil. Pictured here from left is Dotsy, Magraret Samei, Erick Kuman & Dr. Moke
OTML also had the opportunity to launch the new Gene X-pert machine that was purchase for Tabubil hospital to serve the people in the North Fly District. This brings the total of two Gene X-pert machines in the province. IEC materials were given to the general public.
Overall the commemoration of World TB Day in Western province was a success in all three districts. This is the first time the TB program reached all three districts in terms of advocacy communication and social mobilization. Business house and the communities were very supportive of the events and have made commitments to support future events.
The National TB program mascot Dotsy was also a hit in Kiunga and Tabubil.
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