Official: City failing to reduce HIV infections


By Moya Nina Iowa
DESPITE HIV/AIDS being present for the last three decades in PNG, the National Capital District has not done too well in reducing the infection rate, a senior health official says.
NCD health services disease control coordinator Dr Morimai Ipai said the province fared poorly in reducing theĀ  infection rate and in helping those who were living with the disease.
Speaking at the launch of a three-day training programme for monitoring and evaluation officers and health workers to improve the quality of HIV data and reporting, Ipai said that there was a great need to improve data collection, recording and reporting in order to know the actual burden of the illness in the country and NCD.
Ipai said the training was important to sharpen their skills.
Dr Penial Boas, from the Health Department, said data collection, recording and reporting tools were first rolled out in 2009 but there were gaps identified, especially in reporting facilities such as antenatal clinics.
Boas said the workshop was important for the participants as it would help fill in the gaps.
Senior technical officer from FHI360, Dr Justine Nankinga, said that PNG was among the global community that made a commitment to end HIV/AIDS by 2020 and to achieve that, it was important to ensure that 90 per cent of the people knew their HIV status, and for those who are positive, 90 per cent of them must have access to antiretroviral therapy, and that 90 per cent of those who were taking treatment had viral suppression by 2020.
Nankinga said the only way to know whether PNG was achieving that goal was to have proper data collection, recording and reporting.

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