The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011
By YVONNE HAIP
THERE is a need for health centres in the country to record accurate and up-to-date data on malaria cases reported in order to effectively monitor and address the disease.
According to malaria advocates, this had hindered the effective roll-out of malaria programmes in the country.
Studies had shown that malaria was one of the leading causes of deaths in the country, with at least 90% of the population at risk of contracting malaria.
This was revealed during a training for journalists conducted by Population Services International (PSI) in Port Moresby yesterday.
PSI malaria advocacy manager Iraingo Moses said malaria was becoming a concern because even though it was 100% preventable, people were still dying from malaria.
She said malaria, which used to be common in the coastal areas, was also affecting the highlands due to the increase in population mobility, environmental changes as well as global warming among other factors.
She said another contributing factor was the general worsening of health service delivery and breakdown of drug supplies in rural areas.
Moses said PSI and its partners, such as the Health Department and Rotary Against Malaria, were now focused on preventing malaria through various programmes.
She said one of these was the aim of distributing mosquito nets to every household in the country as the most effective way of reducing malaria.
She said in order to help with the reduction of the disease in the country, health centres needed to record malaria cases.
Moses said at the moment, there was limited data which PSI was using to work with.
PSI had recently completed its own researches which would be used.
The workshop was attended by journalists mostly from the Highlands and New Guinea Islands regions.