By Glenda Awikiak
HEALTH Minister Sir Puka Temu has issued instructions for an investigation into the distribution of 600,000 mosquito nets donated by China.
The instruction was issued following reports of the mosquito nets being sold on the streets of Port Moresby for K10 each.
Sir Puka said if the nets were being sold, then “we will find out those responsible. They will be dealt with severely — meaning termination from office”.
“I have instructed the deputy Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala to investigate and ascertain the matter and report back to me.”
The Chinese government through the Chinese Aid programme donated the nets as part of its response to help Papua New Guinea eradicate malaria.
Apart from the nets, the Chinese government donated 10 vehicles and 2084 cartons of malaria tablets and 2000 cartons of Artemether injections (to treat malaria) to the Health Department.
The tablets and injections have been distributed at Mt Hagen, Wewak, Lae, Rabaul and Badili.
National Malaria Control Programme manager Leo Makita recently said that a proper distribution plan of more mosquito nets to the rest of the country was underway.
“We need to find out properly the malaria incidence level in each province before we start distribution,” he said.
“Those would go to our coastal areas as those are the areas affected mostly by mosquitoes and malaria.
“We will first have to get a survey and proper reports and statistics for each province before we get the mosquito nets out.
“We are targeting schools and other organised groups like churches and community groups to do the distribution.”
Malaria remains one of the highest causes of deaths in the country.
Government’s attempt with partners to eradicate malaria is ongoing.
By Glenda Awikiak