PNG seeks help to end Aids epidemic

The National,Friday June 17th, 2016

Minister for Health Michael Malabag says HIV/AIDS is a development issue in Papua New Guinea and development partners must work with PNG to address it.
Malabag said during the recent United Nations Leaders’ Summit on HIV/AIDS in New York there have been some administrative and legislative reforms done to address HIV/AIDS since it was included as a development issue in the country.
Papua New Guinea has one of the most serious HIV/AIDS epidemics in the Asia-Pacific subregion.
A high incidence of sexual aggression, violence against women, the impact of alcohol and drugs are just some of the reasons for the level of HIV infection in the country.
He said lack of resources, cultural differences and discrimination were challenges faced in fighting this issue.
He called on development partners to work with Papua New Guinea in ending the epidemic and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Leaders at the summit made a commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 within the framework of the SDGS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), PNG has the worst health status in the Pacific region. PNG ranks 157 out of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, worst than Bangladesh and Myanmar.
This political declaration at the UN AIDS Summit comes alongside significant gains in providing life-saving medication to patients.