A person suffers from three episodes of malaria in a year on average, according to PNG Deputy Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala.
Dr Dakulala said this was evident by the approximately 850,000 clinical cases reported annually from health facilities.
He was speaking during the World Malaria Day activities held at Kuriva in the Kairuku-Hiri district of Central Province yesterday,
“Malaria being one of the most common causes of morbidity or sickness, the above figures translates to about 10 out of every 100 attendances at health facilities.
“And mortality or deaths accounting for about 3 per cent to 5 per cent or five out of every 100 deaths reported at health facility level,” Dr Dakulala said.
He said malaria is one of the most important public health problems in PNG with constant transmission in most of the coastal and island regions and unstable malaria with seasonal outbreaks in the Highlands.
“The world observes World Malaria Day on April 25. As the country with the highest malaria burden outside Africa.
“It is fitting that PNG reflects on its malaria burden, achievements, way forward and maintaining the gains achieved so far,” he said.
The theme for 2018 is “Ready to beat malaria”
Dr Dakulala reminded everyone that malaria is a complex disease and there are many factors that contribute to the malaria problem in the country.
Factors includes population movement resulting in the spread of the parasites, environmental changes due to development activities such as logging, oil drilling, mining, plantation and farming projects, global warming, general deterioration of the health services and breakdown in drug supply chain.
He said there were no existing accurate data on the amount of anemia, abortions, and economic loss due to malaria, however, malaria was a major contributing factor.
He said that the number of malaria cases treated in hospitals and health centers had generally decreased over the years and hospital admissions and deaths due to malaria also showed similar tendency.
“This decrease occurs mainly in the Highlands where 45 per cent of the total populations live.
“Though there is a significant reduction of malaria compared to year 2000, PNG still is the highest malaria burdened country in the Western Pacific region.
“Over the last few years we have seen a proportional increase in confirmed malaria cases especially diagnosed with rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) among all reported malaria cases in the country,” Dr Dakulala said. Source: Post Courier
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