A HEALTH Department official has criticised the exclusion of health from the PNG Vision 2050 document, launched by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare on Wednesday.
Technical adviser for the lifestyle disease unit in Port Moresby, Dr Thomas Vinit said yesterday that the national strategic plan (NSP) shared vision of a happy, wealthy and united PNG by 2050 was “too vague and not measurable nor comparable with other countries over time”.
Dr Vinit said a new version of the current one should include a healthy vision and goal-based on the healthy island concept which PNG is a signatory for the holistic integral human development of people in PNG.
“The vision should read: a happy, healthy, wealthy and united PNG by 2050,” he said.
Dr Vinit said on Nov 16, he had written to Sir Michael, Health Minister Sasa Zibe and the Government’s chief secretary outlining his concern, saying that many rural people would suffer while the rich became richer because after 34 years, PNG had not been too smart nor wise and listening only to investors.
“These will allow the foreign investors to fully harvest all our resources in the hope to fulfil our vision,” he said in his letter.
He said PNG had not benefited fully from the Panguna, Misima, Ok Tedi, Porgera and Kutubu projects.
“How can we be happy when our human development index (HDI) is very low compared with those less resourced countries like the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji with high HDI?
“For the sake of the health of the silent rural majority, is there any way you can get the chairman of NEC to include healthy vision in the NSP 2010-50?” he asked.
He said in the 2007 and 2008 HDR-UNDP report, PNG measured 145th among 177 countries which was a poor health indicator.
Some factors included the high infant and mortality rate in PNG, in the Asia Pacific region and highest oral and cervical cancer rate in the world.
“According to the 2008 survey we conducted in NCD, 40% of our working class people were overweight and 30% are obese.
“The underage smoking prevalence is 55% and the highest in the Western Pacific Region.”