PAPUA New Guinea is a member of the international health community through the World Health Organisation (WHO) and will certainly benefit from information, new discoveries and new drugs like the A(H1N1) vaccine for the swine flu.
Health Minister Sasa Zibe reaffirmed this last Thursday in Hong Kong where he was attending a conference for member- countries of the WHO office for the Western Pacific region.
“From the discussions so far, PNG will certainly benefit from the new vaccine,” Mr Zibe said but could not say how soon this would be happening.
In support of this, Health secretary Dr Clement Malau said last Thursday that like all seasonal influenza vaccines, the A(H1N1) vaccines had been developed in highly technological countries.
“During the Madang meeting of the Pacific Island countries and areas, PNG had asked WHO for clarification on how quickly developing countries like PNG would be able to access the vaccine.
“While no clear answers were forthcoming we hope that countries like Australia would assist us in having access to the vaccine when they became available for use,” Dr Malau said.
He said the A(H1N1) task force would be tasked to work out the appropriate protocols as to how procurement processes to obtain the vaccine would be applied for surveillance and containment in the country.