Govt commits K10mil to research institute


THE government has committed K10 million for the construction of facilities for the PNG Institute of Medical Research in Madang.
The institute has been using some of Yagaum Lutheran health centre buildings outside Madang town for many years.
The buildings were converted into laboratories, microscopy rooms and administration blocks where medical researchers define parasites, study their characteristics and find medical solutions to respond to malaria and filariasis diseases.
Dr Moses Laman, of the clinical research unit, said Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Sir Puka Temu committed K10 million to assist with the construction of the new facilities opposite the Madang provincial headquarters.
“The K10 million assistance was committed on the previous week, Friday,” Laman said.
He said the institute used to be picked up and dropped off every day. Some occasions, they were attacked by rascals.
“We had five armed robberies, three inside our work bus and two at the office in Yagaum and one gunshot on an expatriate. You can see our safety is not guarantee here,” Laman said.
“We also experience frequent power blackouts, which put the machines that we do experiments with at risk.”
The institue has been renting the buildings at Yagaum for K2000 a month, but recently the rentals increased by K10,000 which means the medical researchers, despite being a not-for-profit organisation, will now pay K12,000 for a month.
It will need K30 million to construct the full facilities including laboratories and other special rooms where blood samples are kept and tested and other drugs are tested to find
solutions to malaria and filariasis diseases.
Laman said despite those challenges, the institute had achieved an excellent result in its human resource capacity building.
Locals working for the institute have been sponsored under their programmes and already graduated three PHD holders with one currently studying overseas, 10 doing their Masters and 30 doing honours programmes.