The Centre of Disease Control (CDC) is the public health unit responsible for the management of tuberculosis (TB), leprosy and nontuberculous mycobacteria in the Northern Territory (NT). CDC in Darwin coordinates the service, with TB / leprosy Units also located in Katherine, Nhulunbuy (Gove), Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. The units include or have access to a team of health professionals including medical officers, nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers, and administration staff to run these services under the direction of the Director of the CDC and head of the NT TB / leprosy sections.
What is our role?
TB and leprosy are conditions of significant public health importance in the NT. Although our focus has been on screening for TB in the local Indigenous population, the overseas born, including international school and University students, newly arrived refugees and illegal foreign fishermen also form a large part of our work. Cases are identified both by comprehensive free screenings of those at increased risk and passively by referral of those with symptoms to health services. These patients are then managed as per current protocol.
What does our role include?
- Management and coordination of the NT's TB and leprosy policies including strategic planning, implementation and surveillance with the long term aim of eliminating TB and leprosy in the NT.
- Notification, enhanced surveillance and statistical analysis of TB, leprosy and NTM data for the NT.
- Provision of clinical services for active TB, latent TB infection (LTBI) and leprosy patients including advice about inpatient management, community screening and contact tracing.
- The production of comprehensive guidelines for the management and control of TB, leprosy and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in the NT.
- Education of health professionals, the public and government agency staff regarding TB and leprosy including the provision of advice, standards, guidelines and training. This includes contributing to the quarterly Communicable Diseases Bulletin.
- Representation on NT and national committees relating to TB, leprosy, refugee health and health screening of illegal foreign fishermen.
- Liaising with Melaleuca Refugee Centre to ensure the provision of initial health assessments for newly arrived refugees.
- Participation in research relating to TB and leprosy with the direct aim of improving regional TB and leprosy control and management. This has included strengthening TB control in East Timor.
Who are our key partners?
- Community nurses and health workers
- Hospital health professionals
- Melaleuca Refugee Centre and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)
- NT schools and Charles Darwin University
- Australian Customs Service, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, GSL (Australia) Pty Ltd and other personnel involved in the apprehension and detention of illegal foreign fishermen
- Darwin and Alice Springs Correctional Centres
TB / Leprosy Unit
Centre for Disease Control Building 4
Royal Darwin Hospital, Rocklands Drive Tiwi NT 0810
Centre for Disease Control
PO Box 40596,Casuarina, NT 0811
Ph: 08 8922 8804
Fax: 08 8922 8310