PNG faces challenges to fight diseases

National

PNG is facing a double burden of disease which is difficult to manage due to the demography and current development rate of the country, Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Michael Malabag says.
Malabag said yesterday during the launching of the Papua New Guinea-World Health Organisation Country Cooperation Strategy 2016-2020 (CSS) that the country was still trying to combat the burden of communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB), malaria and HIV/AIDS.
“Non-communicable disease like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic pulmonary disease are also increasing rapidly to problems relating to nutrition, both under-nutrition and obesity along with maternal health challenges,” he said.
Malabag said last year the mid-term review of the National Health Plan (2011-2020) identified some priority areas that needed improvements, and the CSS would help address some of them.
“There are also the challenges of limited human resources in the health sector, donor fatigue, and difficulty in making headway with immunisation rates and reducing maternal mortality,” Malabag said.
“Despite these challenges, with the support of WHO and partners, we remain committed to improving the lives of our people.”
He said the Department of Health with collaboration from WHO through the strategy would improve rural health facilities, improve human resources and ensure people have access to essential medical products and health information.
“The implementations of this strategy will take account of the lessons learn from the first half of the National Health Plan and focus on the identified priorities and challenges of PNG,” he said.
“The next five years’ health sector strategic priorities do reflect the country’s commitment to achieve the unfinished agendas of the millennium development goals and prepare the road towards sustainable development goals.”

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