The National – Wednesday, February 9, 2011
By KARI TOTONA
HEALTH Department secretary Dr Clement Malau says the way forward is to be an active participant in
its international obligations to articulate health challenges in PNG and contribute to global health debate in shaping good practices in health service delivery.
Malau said this in light of PNG being a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) executive board and an alternative member of the Global Fund board after recent participation by Malau and Health Minister Sasa Zibe in two meetings with the WHO.
He said the health sector could articulate the health challenges the country was facing and, at the same time, contribute to the development of regional and global programmes.
“PNG also actively participated and shaped the WHO’s Western Pacific’s regional strategy for health system strengthening and primary health care,” he said.
Malau said being an alternate member at the Global Fund board had clearly articulated the governance challenges relating to fund management in the country and had also lobbied for independent review of the Global Fund relationship in PNG to ensure a well-aligned Global Fund programme implemented.
He said a recent trip to the United States resulted in the Health Department linking up with Harvard Universitity’s school of public health which is considered as one of the most prestigious schools in the world.
Active dialogues with the schools’ environmental health scientists will assist the department in collecting evidence on the impact of mining on human health.
This arrangement will enable the department to later advise the government on the right standards of
mining in order to protect public health.
Malau said young Papua New Guineans could access training in public health from Harvard University to give them the opportunity to venture outside the country and add value to the development of the country.
He said these trips had expanded PNG’s global connections and lay down the roadmap to ensure that the health system that created were aligned with international standards of best practice.