Locals graduate as epidemiologists

Health Watch

FIFTEEN Papua New Guineans graduated from a premiere training for field epidemiologists (disease detectives) last Friday.
World Health Organisation lead epidemiologist Dr Boris Pavlin said it brought the total number of graduated field epidemiologist in the country to 50.
“The job of a field epidemiologist or disease detective is to prevent illness before it occurs,” Pavlin said.
“It is done by investigating potential or existing health problems and using information learnt to prevent others from getting sick.”
He said examples of Papua New Guinea’s success stories out of the training included:

  • Improving HIV testing among TB patients in Enga from 24 per cent to 100 per cent;
  • decreasing TB defaulter rates in West New Britain from 75 per cent to 36 per cent; and,
  • Increasing detection of gender-based violence cases in the Goroka Hospital and improving referral to the Family Support Centre.

The Best Intervention award was won by Martha Pogo for her Post-Exposure Prophylaxis which was based on giving medicine to people potentially exposed to HIV to prevent them from becoming infected in sexual violence survivors.

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