HEALTH secretary Dr Clement Malau last Thursday extended an invitation to private health providers and non-governmental organisations to institute programmes that will complement the proposed nationwide A(H1N1) vaccination drive to high-risk groups.
Dr Malau said this when commending the support by the Australian government and World Health Organisation (WHO) for PNG to have access to the vaccine.
He also announced in a joint statement with WHO that the first 500,000 doses of the vaccine would arrive in PNG in January.
“The Health Department is currently developing the H1N1 vaccine information package that would be shared with provincial authorities and, in the coming weeks will also provide regular updates to the public about how they can access the vaccine and when they can have it,” Dr Malau said.
WHO PNG head Eigil Sorensen and Dr Malau, extended the invitation to the private sector and highlighted that while the swine flu virus, which hit a few main centres in PNG earlier this year, the cases were generally mild and were no worse than the common influenza.
Dr Sorensen thanked the Australian government through AusAID to make available this vaccine to PNG which was part of an extensive WHO programme to distribute 200 million doses to people in 95 developing countries around the world.