Papua New Guinea (PNG) has not reported any single case of Monkeypox in the country.
Deputy Pandemic Controller Dr. Daoni Esorom confirmed this with NBC Radio this morning (Wednesday 17.08.22).
Dr. Esosom said the Health Department is currently working on building its capacity and facilities to cater for any possible outbreak.
"We have now Country Emergency Response Plan that we submitted to the Secretary for Health last week, on Wednesday the 10th. So our team, since we've been working with our partners like WHO and all the other partners to get the capacity to diagnose and screen for Monkeypox in-country. We have that."
"Now we need to go to the strategy of making sure 'prevention'. Very very important. We need to protect our borders. We need to screen people who are coming in and most importantly, strengthening our lab."
"Now we can diagnose Monkeypox in the country. That's very good for us. The most important thing now is we need to start training our health workers."
"So we are working with the team, the Department, to make sure that we put in training guidelines and educational materials for our health workers to give them the capacity to make sure that if we do have a case, they need to have the capacity to clinically manage them. And as I said earlier on, you know, the isolation, the contact tracing whilst waiting for treatment and vaccine," said Dr. Esorom.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that causes a rash and spreads by skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected.
It was first detected in May 2022, and has so far seen a global increase in cases from multiple countries.
PNG's closest neighbour, New Zealand and Australia, have cases already.
NBC News / PNG Health Watch
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