Malaria harder to reduce in PNG: Official

The National, Wednesday July 13th, 2016

PAPUA New Guinea is not performing as expected to reduce malaria, an expert says.
World Health Organisation competency assessor Ken Lilley said the problem with malaria in PNG was that it was dispersed widely.
“It’s the biggest cause of mobility and mortality in this country,” he said last week.
“On the world map, I have to be honest that PNG is not performing as high as what we all would like. That’s the reality. It’s a very challenging situation.”
He said a five-day competency assessment of malaria microscopists course helped 12 microsco-pists improve their skills in malaria diagnosis.
“This course is the external competency assessment so this is where we work out how good the microscopists are,” Lilley said.
“As importantly, we look at what they need for training to get better at diagnosing malaria.
“If they can diagnose malaria more accurately and faster, they will be able to treat patients quick-er and save lives.”
He said the microscpists started last Monday lacking confidence but after the five days, they worked very hard to improve.
“In this course, they achieved a level one, and four level twos which is a very good result but some people are still struggling with level three and level four, particularly counting malarial parasites which is very challenging,” Lilley said.
“With the particular project that I’m involved in, we have to be running two of this courses every year for the next three years.”