Australia targets Pacific TB

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Australia is spending almost $US6 million on a project to tackle drug resistant tuberculosis in the Pacific.

The Health Ministry said about half of the funding was aimed at Kiribati, where every person in Tarawa with TB over the age of two would be treated.

The four-year project started last month and will also provide training in six Pacific countries.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said it complemented work already done to detect TB in the region.

He said it also reinforced Australia’s commitment to supporting its Pacific neighbours and has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The World Health Organisation estimates about 10 million people contract TB each year, with nearly 60 percent of new cases occurring in the Indo-Pacific region.

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