PLANNERS must ensure that primary health services were adequately provided for in remote areas, the PNG Community Health Workers Association (PNGCHWA) said last Friday.
Adequate supply of medical drugs, equipment, staff and a proper place to live were the most essential, PNGCHWA general-secretary James Amuna said.
Mr Amuna said when these basics were in place, then diseases and epidemics would be easier to control.
He said training more health workers and upgrading the deteriorating health facilities in remote areas should be the Health Department’s priority.
“The provincial and national health authorities must allocate more money to improve aid posts, sub-health centres, train more staff and build better staff housing to ensure remote communities can survive the recurrence of disease outbreaks and containment.”
Mr Amuna said many health facilities were rundown with little or no maintenance, yet community health workers continued to serve under these dangerous conditions in fear of being reprimanded if they did not do their work.
He said sympathetic communities were building bush material houses for aid post and staff houses and brought in health workers themselves, however, when these fell apart, health workers were forced to leave, abandoning the health posts.
“It is vital that remote areas must always have primary health care and education services provided,” Mr Amuna said.