Pathology in PNG

Pathology laboratory opens in Port Moresby

Don't Chew betel nut

Don't Chew Betel Nut, Don't Smoke, Reduce Alcohol, Eat Healthy, Exercise Regularly

Fighting Cervice Cancer in PNG

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Creator Supports NCD HPV Pilot Vaccination Program

Choosing Food

The science of taste: Why we choose fries over broccoli

PNG's MRI Scanner

Public health system in PNG gets first MRI scanner

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Smoking claiming 4000 lives annually in Papua New Guinea


Over 4000 Papua New Guineans die annually from tobacco-related diseases, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Port Moresby-based WHO country representative Dr Pieter Van Maaren said this when speaking at a school yesterday to mark World No Tobacco Day celebrations.

“Every year in PNG studies have shown that more than 4600 of its people are killed by tobacco-caused disease, while more than 1,091,000 children and more than 1,658,000) adults continue to use tobacco each day,” he said.

The country has the highest tobacco consumption rate in the western Pacific region with 44 per cent of the population smoking, which is a statistic that Papua New Guineans should not be proud of. 

He encouraged warned students throughout the country that smoking at an early age is unhealthy and will have an effect on their health in the future.

“We know that cigarette smoking has a strong appeal among young people and school aged children. And social pressure to smoke is strong to many young minds these days. For many smokers, the thrill of smoking by buying cigarettes under age and smoking them at school seems to be part of the appeal of cigarettes.”

The country’s increasing youth population and aggressive marketing strategies employed by tobacco companies will lead to a rise in tobacco consumption, unless Papua New Guineans took action to address it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hospital receives water tanks

 SAINT Mary’s Vunapope Hospital in East New Britain has received three Tuffa water tanks to assist them store clean water for patients.
Kokopo Vunamami Urban LLG in Kokopo district presented the three 5000 litre water tanks to the hospital on Wednesday.

When presenting the tanks to the hospital, Kokopo city manager Freddy Lemeki said the hospital had requested for the water tanks.

He said it had taken a while for the LLG to purchase the tanks because of funding reasons.
“To fund projects within Kokopo Vunamami Urban LLG is very difficult especially at this time when everyone is stuck with finances,” he said.
Lemeki said the tanks cost K13,000.

There are two main hospitals in the province. Vunapope hospital is run by the Catholic mission and Nonga Base General Hospital is run by the government.

Deputy Director Nursing Services Sr Josepha Bini when addressing the occasion, said the Vunapope hospital had been serving the people of ENB and New Guinea Islands region for the last 85 years.
She said it was the first time the hospital had submitted a request to Kokopo-Vunamami ULLG in 2014 for six water tanks to supplement the hospital’s water supply.
She said water issues at the hospital was an ongoing issue due to technical problems with the aging water pump and standby generator.

“We see this presentation of water tanks as timely to our needs. Thank you KVULLG for your support.”

PNG seeks help to end Aids epidemic

 Minister for Health Michael Malabag says HIV/AIDS is a development issue in Papua New Guinea and development partners must work with PNG to address it.
Malabag said during the recent United Nations Leaders’ Summit on HIV/AIDS in New York there have been some administrative and legislative reforms done to address HIV/AIDS since it was included as a development issue in the country.
Papua New Guinea has one of the most serious HIV/AIDS epidemics in the Asia-Pacific subregion.
A high incidence of sexual aggression, violence against women, the impact of alcohol and drugs are just some of the reasons for the level of HIV infection in the country.
He said lack of resources, cultural differences and discrimination were challenges faced in fighting this issue.
He called on development partners to work with Papua New Guinea in ending the epidemic and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Leaders at the summit made a commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 within the framework of the SDGS.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), PNG has the worst health status in the Pacific region. PNG ranks 157 out of 187 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, worst than Bangladesh and Myanmar.
This political declaration at the UN AIDS Summit comes alongside significant gains in providing life-saving medication to patients.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Panadol recalled by Australian authorities not on sale in PNG

 THE children’s medicine recalled by Australian authorities are not on sale in Papua New Guinea, according to a survey carried out by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia on May 19 recalled the children’s 200ml Panadol because an ingredient used in its manufacture of “can potentially cause a low risk allergic reactions in some children”.
Commissioner Paulus Ain said: “The batch numbers of the affected products are 136418 (strawberry flavour), 136444 (strawberry flavour) and 136443 (orange flavour).
He said the commission carried out the inspection to determine to “impose a compulsory product recall”.
The commission has the power to do that under the Independent Consumer and Competition Act 2002.
The commission inspected pharmacies and shops in Port Moresby, Lae, Kokopo and Goroka and did not find the recalled medicine.

PNG Health Minister Michael Malabag backs churches roles

Papua New Guinea Health Minister Michael Malabag says funding for the Christian Health Services budget will be addressed because their role is important in the health sector.

Malabag thanked the Church health services, non-government organisations and stakeholders during the national health conference for helping the Government in providing health services.
“We believe in the correlation between healthy citizens and development in all its facets,” he said.
“We believe that an individual’s productivity is really dependent on his or her health status. That is why health will remain high on the agenda.”

He said the Government was making free primary health care and subsidised specialist services a reality by improving accessibility.

Malabag told health leaders and managers to implement plans and visions of the department so they could reduce the number of deaths and increase the lifespan of people from 54 to 70.
“I understand that factors such as late disbursement of funds, our rugged terrain, a fragmented health system, shortage of manpower and other determinants of health add to the challenge of providing health services in PNG,” he said.

Malabag said the challenges meant health leaders must be smarter and more resilient in the delivery of health services to the people.

Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Protect Yourself From Gonorrhea

Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Protect Yourself From Gonorrhea - Part 3 of 3

Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Getting an STD

While the best way to avoid an STD is not to have sex. It is important for those who are sexually active always to use protection. No matter your sexuality, unprotected sex can cause serious sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) such as chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea and HIV. It is important to always:

Practice Safe Sex: Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom for all sexual activities reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV transmission. Condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD however they will greatly reduce your risk.
Get Tested Regularly: Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, encourage your partner to do the same. If you are not at high risk for getting an STD (not having sex regularly), it is still important to get tested. Always get an STD test before starting a new sexual relationship and if you’re being treated for an STD. It is important to complete treatment before resuming sexual activity, or you and your partner could end up passing it back and forth. Seek early advice if you notice oral, genital or anal sores after recent sexual contact.
Avoid Sexual Activity: If you feel you are unable to have sex safely, you should avoid all sexual activity as you may be putting yourself or others at risk. If you are unsure if you have an STD get tested.

Have Sex Only Within a Mutually Monogamous Relationship: Two people who have sex only with one another don’t have any opportunity to bring a new STD into the relationship. If you and your partner have been tested and are healthy, remaining faithful to each other is a good way to reduce your chances of contracting an STD.
Talk to Your Partner: It is important to be comfortable talking about safe sex with your partner as well as STD testing. Be sure to tell your partner if you are having a sexual relationship with someone else and ask your partner the same.

Don’t Drink or Use Drugs Before Having Sex: It’s difficult to make responsible choices about your sex life if you’re using alcohol or drugs. When under the influence, you are more likely to choose to have sex with someone you wouldn’t otherwise have picked as a partner, and less likely to be able to successfully negotiate safer sex. If you do plan to drink alcohol use other substances, make up your mind beforehand what you want to do. Stick with your plan.
Be Comfortable Saying No! You should never have sex unless you want to. Get comfortable saying no. If you don’t feel it is right, that’s ok. It’s your choice to say yes to sex, and it’s also your choice to say no. Similarly, if your partner tells you no, listen.

Be Responsible for Your Own Protection: It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. If you’re going to have sex, you should be prepared. Bring your own safer sex supplies, the worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have extras. (it’s important to note that the birth control pill will not protect you from STD’s). The decision to make your sex life safer is the first and most important step in reducing your risk of STDs.

New TB machine to boost efficiency in PNG

THE Oil Search Foundation has facilitated training for Kikori Hospital staff on the use of a machine which tests sputum to confirm whether a person has tuberculosis.
Manas Sukumara, a specialist biomedical technician at the Meddent Medical Services, calibrated the GeneXpert machine and trained hospital staff on how to operate and maintain it.
The machine will be used for diagnosing TB by detecting DNA in TB bacteria in sputum samples in less than two hours. It will also be used to detect drug-resistant TB.
Hospital administrator Larry Kaipu thanked Oil Search for assisting the District Health Services and Gulf Christian Services.
“Current statistics show that two to three cases of TB are diagnosed daily. This is a real cause for concern,” he said.
“Being able to take full advantage of the GeneXpert machine will boost our efficiency as it reduces the waiting time for results from weeks to hours in diagnosing TB and drug-resistant TB.”
“This is a vital step in helping us achieve optimal standard of care for our patients in line with the national plan in tackling TB in PNG,” he said.