Port Moresby, 10 January 2018 - “The world has responded too late and too slow. In Papua New Guinea, we should respond to Antimicrobial resistance like it is an emergency,” said PNG’s Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, Sir Puka Temu.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms (such as bacteria) to withstand antimicrobials (such as antibiotics) to which they were originally sensitive. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. Every year, more than 700,000 deaths around the world are attributed to AMR. In recognition of the global public health impact of AMR, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments to take urgent concerted action to combat it.
Port Moresby, 10 January 2018 - Medicines are critical building blocks of the health system, and the negative consequences are undeniable if the right medicines are not available at the right time, at the right place and in the right quantities. However, ensuring access to medicines must also guarantee quality and safety of medical products
WHO's Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medical products has published a report in 2017 that estimates a 10.5% failure rate in all medical products used in low- and middle-income countries. Global estimates show that more than 72 000 deaths from childhood pneumonia can be attributed to the use of substandard or falsified antibiotics. This figure increases to almost 170 000 deaths if the products have no antibiotic activity at all. While these numbers are staggering, the actual size of the problem may be bigger as many cases are unreported. Not only is this a waste of money for individuals and the whole health system, poor quality medical products can also cause serious illness or even death.
4 December 2017, Enga, Papua New Guinea - Enga province now has a GeneXpert Machine at their provincial hospital which will help with rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) along with drug resistant TB (DR-TB) in the province.
The test done by the GeneXpert machine is called the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. It is is the rapid test for tuberculosis recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Xpert MTB/RIF assay can detect TB bacteria better than the conventional method of microscopy. It can also detect drug resistance to one of the most potent drugs, Rifampicin, in less than 2 hours whereas conventional method of culture and drug sensitivity testing to detect resistance takes months.
12 SEPTEMBER 2017, PORT MORESBY - Last Friday, the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), on behalf of their governments, signed Meeting Minutes for the Project for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the Pacific Region. The signing ceremony which took place in Port Moresby was witnessed by the World Health Organization (WHO).