THE only hospital on Rabi Island in the Northern Division has been refurbished to accommodate cases of tuberculosis (TB) in the area.
Confirming this, acting permanent secretary for Health Doctor Josefa Koroivueta said the hospital was renovated last year.
"The hospital was once a health centre and now we have decided to carry out some maintenance work and improvement so it can accommodate TB patients apart from those admitted for other illnesses," Dr Koroivueta said.
"Rabi has been identified as one of the hot spot areas for TB in the country right now and it's only proper that the health facility on the island is improved so the disease is controlled," he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Koroivueta said the official launch of the newly-declared hospital was yet to be decided.
"Before, Rabi only had a health centre and with such refurbishment work, it's now declared a hospital.
"A specific date is yet to be confirmed on the official launch of the hospital," he said.
Tuberculosis, is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria.
TB attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body and is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air.
Many infections are asymptomatic and latent, but about one in 10 latent infections eventually progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about 50 per cent of those infected.