THE cases of HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea has increased from 3,000 to more than 6,000 this year, an official says.
“The number of new infections is growing every year, but the number of healthcare workers and inadequate health facilities remain the same, which puts so much stress on health workers and that is a challenge,” Dr Percy Pokeya said during a HIV workshop hosted by Business for Health in Port Moresby yesterday.
“The environment itself is conducive for people to get treatment. The access to basic services is very challenging.”
He said the workshop saw more than a hundred participants from more than 50 representatives from business houses in the National Capital District.
Business for Health project manager Dr Anne Clarke said the workshop’s objective was to bring business houses together to ease the burden of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) in the country and respective organisations and households represented.
“The number of cases have increased or grown; it has risen by 91 per cent from 2020 which tells us that people have forgotten the basics .
“This is not rocket science, we have let things slip,” she said.
Clarke said the budget allocated for AIT drugs was K4 million in 2003, which was when the number of infections was stable.
“This is not only a health issue, but an economic and social one,” she said.
Unicef heath specialist Dr Garba Safuyanu said these statistics included mother-to-baby transmissions.
“Ninety-five per cent of children with HIV acquired the virus through parent to child transmission,” Safuyanu said.
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