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Review of DFAT support to TB response in Papua New Guinea from 2011 -2018: Management response

Summary of publication

Australia is supporting the Government of PNG to strengthen the health system to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases, with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB) as a particular focus. In 2014, the Government of PNG declared a TB emergency, with Daru in Western Province, the National Capital District (NCD) and Gulf Province designated as TB hotspots.

DFAT commissioned the review to assess the contribution that Australian support has made to achievements in TB prevention and control since 2011, and to inform the next phase of Australia’s support for TB. The review found that treatment success rates in Daru have been improved to world-class standards. Occupancy at Daru General Hospital has decreased and MDR TB patients retained on treatment increased from 65 per cent to 99 per cent. Australia’s investments in TB control have been fundamental, and critical to the success of the Government of PNG-led TB emergency response.

The recommendations provide practical and useful suggestions. Some recommendations, however, are outside DFAT’s mandate, and will require agreement and action from a range of actors in the TB response and most importantly the Government of PNG. The Management Response therefore focuses on DFAT’s role in supporting the PNG Government to consider and implement those recommendations, as they determine to be appropriate. This is consistent with Australia’s engagement in the PNG health sector, which recognises the sovereign responsibilities of PNG to prioritise, plan, and deliver its own health services, with external support where needed.

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