April 27, 2016
TB a growing threat
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall is warning against becoming complacent to the treat of tuberculosis, especially to indigenous and migrant populations.
Ms Wall, whose own Tuwharetoa whanau was marked by the experience of TB, is part of a global caucus of MPs who try to address the problem in their own countries.
She says there are about 200 cases a year in New Zealand, with poverty and overcrowding factors.
Maori disproportionately affected and also migrants from countries like Vietnam, India and some Pacific islands.
"We have 60 percent of the world's burden in our Asia Pacific region. In the Pacific it's a disease Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu are grappling with but coupled with issues to do with TB are issues to do with diabetes. So it really is about access to primary health and how we can all work together to prevent the spread of the disease because it is contagious," Ms Wall says.
Major concerns are new strains of tuberculosis which are resistant to the current drugs.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com