So far the country has taken significant strides in addressing Tuberculosis through partnership with Global Fund (since 2007).
The implementation of Directly Observe Treatment Strategy (DOTS) has made significant impact. From a poor detection and cure rate prior to 2005, PNG now records a case detection rate of 61 per cent and a treatment success rate of 69 per cent. This means that some of our strategies in addressing TB is working, thanks to much assistance from international partners.
The incidence of malaria in the country has declined in the recent 4-5 years from 38 per cent to 28 per cent and parasite positivity rate from 18 to six per cent, which reflects a great deal of hard work done by our health workers and partners such as Rotary Against Malaria, who distributed impregnated bed-nets widely in the country.
On World AIDS Day, we hear 50 new infections are recorded each month, a reduction of 100 per month. According to a National AIDS Council Secretariat report, new infections are declining, People Living with HIV has stabilised and deaths have declined.
With 2013 declared by the O’Neill-Dion Government as the year of implementation through the announcement of the Alotau Accord, the health sector, as the State agency is going by this announcement into the fourth year of implementing the National Health Plan.
Minster for Health Michael Malabag plainly puts it that the O’Neill-Dion Government is not only talking but is putting its money "where its mouth is" and is truly giving Health as one of its top priorities. The Government is for the first time in 37 years putting money for hospital and facility rehabilitation and upgrades, hospital development, medical equipment and static plant replacements, construction of Provincial Transit Medical Stores and construction of Community Health Posts throughout the country. The government is not only looking at development but is also concerned about the health and wellbeing of the common people and has approved the policy on Free Health Care and Subsidised Specialist Services , increased funding purchase of Medical Supplies and making more money available through the Health Functional Grants, Hospital Grants, PHA Grants, Church Health Grants and many more.
The health sector priorities for 2013-2017 are:
This year, the health department and ministry has finalised and declared the Free Primary Health Care and Subsidised Specialist Services for the public to enjoy starting early next year.
As the year ends, appreciation must go for all who have put in efforts to bringing about positive changes. PNG must be thankful for international partners such as World Vision International, JTA, Hope Worldwide, AUSAID, WHO, Global Fund and Bill Gates Foundation and other partners including the volunteers.
See you again in 2014!
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