PORT Moresby General and Gerehu hospitals have received 500 doses of polio vaccines for visa applicants or intending travellers.
Executive manager public health and national coordinator of polio response Dr Sibauk Bieb said the vaccines were to help those who really needed to get their overseas travel papers and visa requirements done quickly.
“The hospitals are providing this supplementary immunisation service following recent changes the Australian government made to its visa application policy for people travelling out of PNG after the polio outbreak in parts of Morobe, Madang and Eastern Highlands,” Bieb said.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, in a statement, said that to avoid wastage, people should consider allocating certain days for the vaccination of travellers, like three days a week, to ensure the maximum use of the 10-dose vials of vaccine.
He said travellers should take the responsibility of checking with their respective embassies and missions of their requirements when applying for visa to ensure they complied with the rules surrounding polio.
Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive Dr Umesh Gupta said the hospital would be providing the service during the five working days a week.
Attempts to get the schedule for Gerehu hospital was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Immigration New Zealand and the Chinese Embassy told The National that for now they did not require travellers to have polio vaccination.
However, it is recommended that polio vaccinations are considered and PNG visa applicants should discuss thatg with their doctors.
The two public hospitals will be charging a fee of K12.50 for the vaccination.
“At the moment the amount of polio vaccines we have in the country is limited, so we need the money to sustain the supply of vaccines for our routine immunisation programmes,” Bieb said.
“The hospitals also will use the money from the charges for their administrative costs like printing of the yellow cards for the travellers to sustain this service.” Statement