Minister vows to set up office for maternal health

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sasa Zibe wants to establish a secretariat to effectively address maternal health problems in the country.
Zibe announced this during the official launch of the maternal death audit report form yesterday.
He said Papua New Guinea had a huge maternal mortality problem that seriously needed to be looked at, particularly with the deteriorating health care services.
“Countries with a heavy burden of diseases tend to experience severe impediments to economic growth, therefore improving the health status of the population is critical for poverty reduction and economic development in any country,” he said. 
Zibe said since independence the national government had taken several measures to control endemic diseases.
These measures included national health programmes for the control and prevention of tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, filariasis and leprosy.
He said even though considerable health gains had been achieved in the first decade after independence, certain key indicators had shown a decline since 1990.
One of the worst was the deterioration of health care services and the health of the population, he said.
“This has to be reversed quickly to improve the health of the nation,” he said.
Zibe said the secretariat would provide advice and technical support to improve maternal health.
He said the secretariat’s vision would be for all Papua New Guineans to have a reliable health sector, delivering effective, timely and equitable health care services, particularly to those who were most in need.