PNG races against time to meet goal

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 12th June 2013

 Papua New Guinea is racing against time to improve its maternal and child health status as set out in the United Nations millennium development goals by 2015. 

Deputy Health Secretary (national health standards and services) Dr Paison Dakulala told a recent meeting that PNG would not be able to achieve development goals four and five unless the training carried out was done in the PNG context.

“The approach to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health by 2015 must be done the PNG way,” Dakulala said.

He said the targets outlined in the task force’s report were yet to be fulfilled. The reproductive health training Unit (RHTU) was a partnership between the Health Department, AusAID and Oil Search Health Foundation.

The partnership would increase efforts in addressing areas of need by women and children. RHTU was set up following recommendations by a ministerial task force on maternal health in 2009 to prioritise reproductive health and provide advanced and follow-up training for health workers. 

Dakulala also spoke about the key result area number three in the national health plan on health system strengthening with the use of information technology. 

“The set up of the website is to pass on information to our stakeholders.”

Last Friday, the RHTU website ( was launched. It would offer the latest information on training, treatment guidelines and information on reproductive health.

President of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society Dr Ligo Augerea acknowledged the poor health indicators of women and children in the country.

Augerea described their work in putting together the report as a daunting task.

“However, the partnership in the area of training would upscale and maintain the skills of staff,” he said.