Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is an infectious disease caused by infection with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium. Typically TB affects the lungs but it can also infect any other organ of the body.
TB is curable. TB is spread when a person with the active disease of the lungs or upper airways coughs, sings, laughs or sneezes. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. The bacteria can settle in the lungs and begin to grow. From there, they can move through the blood or lymphatic system to other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine and brain. TB in the lungs or throat can be spread to other people. TB in other parts of the body is usually not infectious.
An infected person who does not have active disease cannot transmit TB to another person. These people have ‘sleeping’ or latent TB. Only people with ‘active’ disease of the lungs or upper airways can pass on the infection.
TB is now a single killer that is draining out the population of Goilala District single handedly.
With our health centers and Aid Posts ill equipped, shortage of medical supplies, and less medical Community Health Workers, the Goilala people are left with little or no medical attention.
Bereina Diocese who is responsible for Goilala health is also doing little to help rectify the struggling health service delivery through Goilala.
It is against this backdrop that tuberculosis despite being a curable diseases is wiping out Goilalas population like a storm. It has reached uncontrollable proportions but no one in District Health, Central Provincial Health and National Government Health is paying close attention.
Susan Merrell who went up to Tapini to got a first hand look at the dire situation. After her return,
she proposed based on medical professional advice the purchase of a GenXpert machine, as a portable and affordable option to persue. The Gene Xpert is a new test for tuberculosis. It can find out if a person is infected with TB, and also if the TB bacterium of the person has resistance to one of the common TB drugs, rifampicin.
GenXpert machine will be used for testing, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of TB spetums.
Goilala Foundation has opted to start a Fund Raising drive, which has witnessed members and concern Goilalas participate in a “wheelbarrow push” in settlements in Port Moresby, mostly populated by Goilalas – Six mile – Dark Street, Saraga Street, Kaugere, Sabama, and recently have taken it to public markets.
Here is the update so far from the Foundation:
- The Wheel barrow Fundraising has raised K2,000+
- Bereina Diocese – has pledged K4000+
- The total cost of this machine is K52,000.00 (If purchased from Australia or around 20K if purchased in US)