Malaria still public health problem, official says


MALARIA remains one of the worst public health problems in Papua New Guinea, an official said.
The country did not meet sustainable development goals for malaria, but was close to achieving an 85.5 per cent reduction of the disease, according to national malaria control programme manager Leo Makita.
Makita said it was through the programme and its implementing partners that resulted in the change of the epidemiology of malaria in Papua New Guinea over the recent years.
“The government’s agenda for health has always been a priority in recognising a healthy population who can contribute to productivity in the development of the nation,” he said.
The Chinese government donated 600,000 mosquito nets to support the World Malaria Day commemoration in Papua New Guinea.
Makita said the mosquito nets were distributed to schools in the National Capital District.
“The mosquito nets were intended for urban settlements that are common to poor living conditions that generate breeding havens for mosquitoes,” he said.
Students from those settlements were seen as a more effective way of relaying the message about preventative measures against malaria to their families.
“Whatever steps are taken must be geared towards the elimination of malaria in this country,” Makita said.
The World Health Organization estimated that in 2015, 212 million clinical cases of malaria occurred and 429,000 people died from it.
This shows that malaria continues to be on the rise globally and malaria has always been an endemic in the country.