People’s health a priority, says Malau

National, Normal
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By WALLACE KIALA

WHILE so much have been hyped on the potential economic benefits of the PNG LNG project for the nation, the threat of diseases to public health should remain a priority to the National Government.
Health secretary Dr Clement Malau indicated this in a statement yesterday, calling for serious and concerted efforts to support public health education.
“The education and awareness must cover families and communities while at national level, the Government needs to be seen safeguarding the people by improving its health indicators for the country,” he said.
“This will be a unique challenge and our National Health Plan (2010-2020) looks at addressing a couple
of areas.
We hope the well thought out strategy will enable local authorities to respond effectively to emerging major issues of public health concern,” Dr Malau said.
“The LNG projects will bring in a lot of resources, making them available to the people.
If the monies are not used for essential and priority issues to effect change in the quality of life of all citizens, PNG will be repeating the mistakes of many African countries,” he said.
He added that sound management of resources had become very important to the health and well being of the people.
“The negative side of issues relate to human behaviour.
“If we are educated we can avoid the risk of HIV/AIDS and also avoid the risk of emerging non communicable diseases or life style diseases.
“The Government must be seen actively ensuring there is proper planning, guidance and leadership to all citizens in this country irrespective of their
status or class .
This is a principle based on human rights and dignity,” he added.