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Let’s Kick TB out of PNG

13 February 2018, Daru, Western Province — For the first time ever, Papua New Guinea has launched systematic screening for tuberculosis in Daru Island in the Western Province with everyone 10 years of age and older being checked for the deadly disease.

Papua New Guinea has the highest TB incidence in the Western Pacific region and 10th highest globally. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates are rising rapidly. As of 2016, there are about 2000 new cases of MDR-TB in the country. Health authorities worry about projections that MDR-TB will become the dominant strain in PNG in 10 years unless action is taken. Globally, MDR-TB patients have a treatment success rate of less than 50%, and the cost of treatment is a hundred times more than for general TB patients.

Papua New Guinea Celebrates Antibiotic Awareness Week

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.

Papua New Guinea Opens Medicines Quality Control Laboratory

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.

WHO supports rapid diagnosis of TB in Enga province

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.

WHO commends PNG and Japan for committing to eliminate elephantiasis in PNG

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).

WHO Representative in
Papua New Guinea

Contact Details

The World Health Organization
4th Floor, AOPI Centre, Waigani Drive
PO Box 5896, Boroko, Port Moresby
National Capital District
Tel: (675) 325 7827 Fax: (675) 325 0568

Highlights from WHO Papua New Guinea

  • Breaking barriers in access to health information
    28 AUGUST 2017 - Health workers in Arawa, Bougainville, now have increased ability to access latest health information, virtually free of charge.
    This follows a five-day course on HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this month.
    Since 2016, WHO has brought together over 150 health professionals from 10 provinces of Papua New Guinea under a series of HINARI workshops, with Arawa being the latest.
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