"The Gulf TB emergency response is the result of a wide and comprehensive consultation process involving national and Gulf provincial governments, non-government and faith-based organisations and the private sector," the Oil Search Foundation said.
The foundation has been committed to the development of the province's response to TB since 2015, noting that "TB is a major concern for Gulf Province and other parts of the country and we are serious about working with a committed group of people and organisations to form part of the wider response to contain this disease".
Foundation health head Ingrid Glastonbury added: "The foundation has already committed more than K500,000 to fund various aspects of this plan and encourage other stakeholders and partners to join the fight with us."
OSF participated in the discussions with stakeholder partners including: Gulf Provincial Health Office; Kerema General Hospital; Kikori District Health; Kerema District Health; Médecins Sans Frontières; Gulf Christian Services; Catholic Health Services, United Church Health Service; National Department of Health; World Health Organisation; Total; Kumul Petroleum Holdings, ExxonMobil and others.
"The plan will be fully implemented after stakeholders agree on their commitments towards supporting financial and technical aspects of the plan to reduce the spread of infection, in high endemic areas of two districts in the province," the foundation said.
Health Department deputy secretary Dr Paison Dakulala emphasised the critical role the private sector and faith-based organisations played in responding to TB.
"These organisations are very important stakeholders with depth and experience therefore their input into this plan is invaluable," Dakulala said.
"As our development partners, they will also play critical roles in the delivery of this plan using their staff, logistics and other resources, and for that we as a government look forward to working together to achieve the desired outcomes to end TB in Gulf."
The plan, has five objectives: Improving access to quality TB services; increasing case detection through modern rapid and sensitive diagnostic testing at the early stage; applying a patient centred care approach to decrease loss to follow up and improve treatment outcomes; increase the capacity of Gulf Province Health Services to address the TB emergency including MDR TB; and develop effective leadership and coordination of the response.