Province reports poor health

The National,Thursday June 9th, 2016

Sandaun has a low population density but alarming social indicators, especially the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the country, according to a health professional.
Provincial health authority chief executive officer Alphonse Yalim said the delivery of health services    had been challenging and costly in the province.
“The province continuous to perform so poorly in its key health indicators,” Yalim said at the National Health Conference in Port Moresby yesterday.
He said the province had a higher birth rate (3.2 per cent) than the national rate (2.3 per cent), higher fertility, infant mortality, child mortality and malnutrition rates. He said immunisation coverage remained at just 60 per cent for all vaccines.
“HIV/Aids is a real threat for this province given the easy mobility of people across the border into and out of Papua in Indonesia,” he said.
“Furthermore the province constantly faces the threat of importing old and new diseases from across the border like avian flu, polio, cholera, measles and the zika virus.”
He said multi-drug resistant TB was also a major threat facing the province with eight cases reported so far.
“Two in 2014, four in 2015 and two identified in 2016,” he said.
He said other factors  that contributed to poor health conditions in Sandaun were the vast expansion of logging and climate change.