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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to recover from Multidrug-Resistant TB

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that does not respond to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. The reasons why multidrug resistance continues to emerge and spread are mismanagement of TB treatment (not completing the full course of treatment, or being prescribed the wrong treatment or dose or wrong length of time for taking the drugs, or not seeing a doctor at the end of treatment to ensure the TB bacteria has been eliminated) and person-to-person transmission especially in crowded settings such as prisons and hospitals. In some countries, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat MDR-TB. Treatment options are limited and expensive, recommended medicines are not always available, and patients experience many adverse effects from the drugs. In some cases, more severe drug resistance can develop. Extensively drug-resistant TB, XDR-TB, is a form of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis that responds to even fewer available medicines, including the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs. According to World Health Organization XDR-TB has been reported in 105 countries worldwide. Regular check-ups are important to ensure you are on the right track with your TB treatment. For more information:

Get tested. Get treated. See your Local Urban Health Clinic.

TB and HIV –
From World Health Organisation: TB is the most common presenting illness among people living with HIV, including among those taking antiretroviral treatment and it is a leading cause of HIV-related death. People living with HIV are from 26-31 times more likely to develop TB than persons without HIV. ​TB and HIV infection can work together to make you very sick. Talk to your doctor about testing.

TB and Pregnancy –
From the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): While dealing with a TB diagnosis in pregnancy is not easy, there is a greater risk to the pregnant woman and her baby if TB disease is not treated. Pregnant women who are diagnosed with TB should start treatment as soon as TB is detected. Babies born to women with untreated TB disease may have lower birth weight than those babies born to women without TB. Rarely, a baby may be born with TB. Although the TB drugs used in treatment cross the placenta, these drugs do not appear to have harmful effects on the baby. If you are pregnant and suspect you may have TB talk to your doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of TB?
People who have latent TB infection do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB to others. Those who have active TB may experience:
– Fatigue, weakness
– Unexplained weight loss
– Have a cough for 3 weeks or longer (sometimes with blood or sputum)
– Chest pain
– Fever
– Night sweats

Remember: If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it is important to see your doctor at your local urban health clinic for a TB test.

Get tested. Get treated. See your Local Urban Health Clinic.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Allegation of corruption and mismanagement at Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority

Allegation of corruption and mismanagement at Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority
We have had allegations of corruption and mis management leveled at the management and Board of WHPHA so I am using this Forum to present our position. I am also asking the administrators of this Forum to let this remain because I posted a response to a comment of similiar made by some one called TKiap yesterday and it was removed.
The facts about the sit-in protest and petition to the Minister for Health by the Mt Hagen Branch of the National Doctors’ Association
The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA) Board acknowledges and welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Health, Hon. Michael Malabag that a review will be conducted into the allegations of sub-standard clinical standards and services at Mt Hagen Hospital.
The Board and Management of the WHPHA wish to inform the public they have nothing to hide and will co-operate with the Review Team when it arrives in Mt Hagen to conduct its investigation. The Board believes in transparency and is of the view the public has the right to know about the circumstances that led to the sit-in protest by the doctors, nurses and other staff and the subsequent presentation of the petition to the Minister for Health.
The following is an account of what has transpired:
The National Doctors’ Association (NDA) Mt Hagen Branch led a sit-in protest by its members, nurses, community health workers and allied health workers commencing on the afternoon of Tuesday, 1st March 2016. Initially the sit in was stated to be in response to what certain local members of the NDA claimed was corruption at Board and Management level within the WHPHA, which we deny.
The NDA had previously sent a delegation to Mt Hagen to make its own enquiries into the allegations that had been raised and to talk to the Management of WHPHA. Whilst this process was taking place, the WHPHA advertised the position of Director Curative Health Services in the two national daily newspapers starting on Monday, 29 February 2016. This was part of the WHPHA's normal administrative process.
The position was advertised because the three year contract for the incumbent is set to expire on 22 March 2016. The Board and Management of the WHPHA advertised the position so as to allow sufficient time for the interview and selection process to be completed and an appointment to be made so that the services provided through this vital position could continue without disruption. The incumbent has been informed prior to the position being advertised and is free to apply to be re-appointed and the selection process will be based on merit.
The Mt Hagen branch of the NDA seized on the advertisement of the position of Director Curative Health Services as a major issue and wrote a letter to the CEO of the WHPHA, Dr. James Kintwa on 29 February 2016 demanding the withdrawal of the advertisement within 24 hours or its members would stage a four-day sit-in protest starting at 1pm on Tuesday, 1 March 2016. The letter further stated that if the advertisement was not withdrawn there would be "severe repercussions" and the NDA members would walk off their jobs commencing Monday, 7 March 2016.
The Mt Hagen NDA branch alleged that the advertisement of this position was wrong because of its timing (in the climate of allegations of corruption against the Board and Management), and was also contrary to the General Orders governing the renewal of such contracts.
This represented a fundamental shift from the NDA's original complaints relating to allegations of corruption and mismanagement which we totally deny. Dr Kintwa replied to the NDA by letter dated 1 March 2016, confirming the WHPHA would not withdraw the advertisement for the position as it was a normal administrative process to advertise a contract position when the term of the contract neared expiration.
Dr. Kintwa has also informed the protesting staff there is nothing illegal about the process of advertisement. Dr Kintwa has made it clear that the incumbent has been informed about the process that is taking place and that he has been advised that he is at liberty to re-apply for the position. The advertisement of the position will close on 28 March 2016.
Allegations of corruption and mismanagement
The allegations that have been widely circulated as to alleged mismanagement and corrupt practices within the WHPHA are rejected by the Board and Management as being entirely baseless and without merit.
The WHPHA Management and Board have nothing to hide and give their full support and co-operation to the investigation announced by the Minister. However, the focus must always be on the provision of health services to the public and the Board and Management of the WHPHA calls on the NDA to discontinue the protests while the investigation is conducted and concentrate on providing health services to the public.
At the same time, the Board and Management reserves their rights in relation to the scandalous and outrageous statements that have been made which call into question the integrity of the WHPHA. The Board and Management of the WHPHA are currently taking legal advice as to these matters.
Focus on Services for the people
The WHPHA Board wants to inform the people of Western Highlands and the Highlands Region that the WHPHA will continue to do what it can to improve health services at Mt Hagen Hospital and the various rural facilities.
The Board and Management are working tirelessly to improve facilities including the construction of District Hospitals, Health Centres and other health facilities. The WHPHA has the support of the WHP Governor, local Members of Parliament and donor partners including the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Asia Development Bank.
The WHPHA had established a Call Centre (free call 1542) in partnership with DFAT through which the public can seek health related advice and can also report unsatisfactory services.
The Board and Management of the WHPHA will cooperate fully with the Minister’s investigation and are looking forward to working with the investigation team.

David Guinn CSM OBE OAM
Chairman – Board of Governance
Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority

Catholic Health services in PNG scaled down

THE Catholic Church has lamented the Government chopping K50.7 million from its health budget, which will affect services at its rural hospitals, health facilities, VCT centres, a nursing school and community health worker training schools.

The church’s medical arm - the Catholic Church Health Services of Papua New Guinea - currently runs five rural hospitals, 244 health facilities, 29 standalone VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) centres, a nursing school and four community health worker training schools.

But the CCHS, in a full-page advertorial in last Friday’s edition of the Post-Courier, warned that the cut will impact on the operations of its services and the 3000 staff who work there.

"Those facilities are staffed by almost 3000 people, who not only provide services to the community but who support the local economy. Most of those services are located in remote and rural areas where the majority of the population lives. In many of those places there are no other health centres close by," the church said.

The church said the budget cut could now force it to lay off staff, which would mean other workers taking on extra responsibilities.

"They are now facing the real prospect of having to take on the work of staff who have left or been laid off. To then be told that their pay will be cut to 2014 levels will certainly have an adverse effect on morale."

The church provides over a quarter of all health care in PNG hence any cuts in the Government’s budgetary support will have an effect on over 80 per cent of the country’s 7 million people.

Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag confirmed the budget cuts yesterday when contacted by this newspaper, which he said compelled the Health Department to raise its concerns with the Treasury Department.

"I can only conclude that there was an oversight by those that framed the budget but I must emphasis here that the health of our people must never be compromised. I want this situation to be rectified…I am waiting for department to provide me a comprehensive assessment before I take it to NEC to discuss shortfalls," he said.

Another church partner, the United Church also confirmed - through its moderator Reverend Bernard Usiai - that the Government also cut their budget this year.

"I can confirm that the United Church was only given K10 million for its budget this year," he said at the Tanim Graun live-televised show in Port Moresby last Friday.

National Planning Minister Charles Abel, who also sat on Tanim Graun show panel, indicated that the slump in global commodity prices had an impact on the Government’s cash flow and affecting its programs.

Post Courier

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

PNG Health Dept reveals problems with anti-malaria drugs supply

THE Health Department is facing difficulties in supplying anti-malarial drugs to health centres and clinics across the country, Deputy Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala says.
Dakulala told The National in Port Moresby yesterday that he was aware that health centres and clinics did not have anti-malarial drugs and the Health Department was working to address the shortage urgently.
“Right now we have cut down all the other alternatives to work within our K3 million budget for the month of March to address the shortage of anti-malarial drugs,” he said.
Dakulala said the Health Secretary’s office had a meeting yesterday and declared the shortage an emergency.
“We are now working on the anti-malarial medications to get the quantity that’s required to distribute to all our health districts and health facilities,” he said.
“The reason this has come about is more to do with funding that we are given.” He said the money to pay for all other drugs and supplies which amount to more than K64 million was also pending.
“And we are given only just
a small amount which is the situation with the cash flow,” Dakulala said.
“That’s the situation for us.
“It is not easy but we are working hard to manage this.
“Our hope is that within the shortest time possible we will solve the shortage issue.
“In the meantime, we urge those health facilities with adequate supplies to continue to help those in critical need.”

Warning issued over donor funding in Health in PNG

PUBLIC Health executive manager Dr Subauk Vivaldo Bieb says PNG is in danger of losing the confidence of donor partners in terms of funding.
“PNG has to be proud that the Government pays for all their medical drugs,” he said.
“Not all countries in the developing world are doing what PNG is doing.
“However, this very good situation is in extreme danger because of lack of funding.”
Bieb said even though the Government had funds allocated for drugs, the Health Department was having difficulty getting the exact amount needed to purchase medicines.
“It has adverse implications from the point of view that some of our external partners who are assisting us in fighting diseases expect that as part of the agreement for them to work with us to address these issues, the government must maintain or pay a certain percentage for drugs and all the services,” he said.
“But we are in danger of losing that confidence from our partners in these areas because of this situation.
“We may not be able to procure enough drugs for malaria for example as we made the commitment to do.
“The reality for us in the health sector now is that we know what we want and we’ve made that known to Government.
“What we are getting is not equal to what we actually asked for to maintain basic requirements for our people.
“We are hoping the situation will improve to ensure that service delivery goes to the people.”

Service delivery concerns for PNG Health Department

THE Health Department admits it is struggling to deliver services to the people because of the financial situation it faces at the moment.
Public Health executive manager Dr Subauk Vivaldo Bieb told The National on Monday that as public servants, health workers wanted to fulfil what the Government wanted but their hands had been tied because of the financial situation.
“We want support from the Government,” Bieb said
“What we are saying is that we know what we want to do. We know exactly how much it will take to deliver to our people but we are at the risk now of not being able to meet the expectations of our people because of the financial situation.
“Most often a sledge hammer is used to bang our heads because we are not delivering. A lot of times it’s because of situations outside of our control.”
He said one example was the shortage of anti-malarial drugs that needed urgent response.
“We do have a desire, we do have plans in place and they are costly. We know we want to do that but we can’t because the resources that we have at our disposal to implement those is not enough.”

New vaccines for immunisation plan

THREE new vaccines will be used in East New Britain under the immunisation programme from this month.
The vaccines are measles rubela, combined for measles and measles rubella, IPV, which is a polio injection vaccine. The other vaccine -PCV13 - is also an injection vaccine for pneumococous.
Elsie Buka, from the provincial health division, said MR vaccine was targeted at six-month old babies to 15 year-old children, IPV for three-month olds to three-year olds and the PCV for one to three-month-old babies.
Buka said the programme was started in schools before clinical programmes were set up in communities. Babies and children should be vaccinated, she said.

ENB sees rising number of leprosy cases: Health officer

EAST New Britain is now considered a leprosy-burdened province along with four other others.
High numbers of leprosy cases have been reported from the areas including National Capital District, Central, Gulf and Western.
Disease control officer at Nonga General Hospital, Dr Alex Maha, said ENB recently gained the high-burden group but reasons for the increase were still not known.
Maha said leprosy was previously eradicated in the country, but not completely eliminated.
He said the re-emergence of the disease was attributed to poor reporting system due to many health officers today being not aware of the disease, its symptoms and general appearance.
Due to this, many early cases were left until they got to the point where a person became disabled.
Hot spots for leprosy in the province include Vunapaka and Rapolo.
Leprosy Mission PNG helps with treatment and awareness and training were undertaken.
Family health officer with the provincial health division, Elsie Buka, said Leprosy Mission PNG in partnership with the Health Department was preparing staff in-service at health facilities on leprosy.

Health adviser pushes for diabetes centre in East New Britain

THERE is a need for a diabetes health centre in East New Britain as the disease is prevalent there, provincial health adviser Nicholas Larme says.
He said lifestyle disease, particularly diabetes, seemed to be increasing and with the tourism industry growing, the provincial government and its administration should “consider promoting health tourism”.
He said the National Capital District was known for having health facilities to take on heart patients.
“Other provinces may be known for having specialised health facilities. East New Britain should have a diabetes health facility to meet the growing number of diabetes patients in the province and in the country,” he said.
Larme said establishing a diabetes health facility in ENB would attract diabetes patients and their families.
New Guinea Islands Historical Society spokesman Gideon Kakabin, in support of Larme’s suggestion, said the province was known for herbal remedies.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Treatment of a Sore Throat

If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection which is the most common cause, it will usually clear up on its own and will not require medical care. Over the counter pain management, bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids are advised. Bacterial infections such as strep throat will require antibiotics. See your doctor if your sore throat lasts longer than one week or if your pain is severe, you have a high fever, rash or bloody mucous, red tonsils or white spots on the back of your throat or changes in breathing, swallowing or you experience frequent sore throats. If you have any other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant as you may be at a higher risk for complications see your doctor. Make a note of when symptoms started. Have you been in contact with any recent, possible sources of infection, such as a friend or family member with a sore throat or a cold? If antibiotics are required (for a bacterial infection) they must be taken exactly as advised and completed (even if you are feeling better) or the infection may return. If your pain or symptoms are worsening even if you are taking antibiotics to let your doctor know. Get immediate care if you or your child are experiencing severe signs such as difficulty breathing or swallowing or unusual drooling (which may indicate an inability to swallow).
Pain Management at Home:
No matter the cause for your sore throat these at home strategies may provide you temporary relief from pain:
Treat pain and fever: Take over the counter pain relief medication. Only take as advised and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Rest: Get plenty of sleep and rest your voice.
Drink fluids: Drink plenty of fluids to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration.
Salt water gargles: 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt to One cup of pure water can help soothe a sore throat. Gargle the solution and then spit it out.
Suck on a lozenge: Lozenges can soothe a sore throat, but you should not exceed the daily recommended dose as they can cause stomach upset. Lozenges are also a choking hazard for young children and shouldn’t be used for children under 4yrs.
Avoid aggravating your pain: Avoid harsh cleaning products and cigarette smoke.
Warm Drinks: Such as tea (caffeine free is best) warm water with honey, soup or broth may sooth a sore throat.
Try Ice blocks: This may soothe a sore throat.
Humidify the air: Use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air that may further irritate a sore throat or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom.
Prevention -
Practice good hygiene and prevent the spread of germs:
Wash your hands: thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
Avoid sharing: food, drinking glasses or utensils.
Avoid contact: With shared surfaces: door knobs, kitchen benches, public handrails or drinking fountains.
Cough or sneeze: into a tissue and throw it away. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers as an alternative to hand washing when soap and water aren't available. Wash your hands as soon as you can.
Regularly clean: telephones, TV remotes, keyboards, and phones.
Avoid close contact: with people who are sick (kissing, hugging, shaking hands).
Wear a filtering mask: when cleaning to avoid inhaling dust or airborne particles from cleaning products.
If you smoke, quit: Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.
Avoid exposure: to secondhand smoke, pollen, dust, and mould.
Humidify your home: if the air is dry and, you frequently experience sore throats.

Source: POMGH

Common Causes of Sore Throats

A Cold or Flu: A sore throat is often the first sign of a cold and often gets better after a few days. If your sore throat is caused by a cold, you may also experience a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, cough, mild body aches, and headache. The flu usually comes on suddenly, and those with the flu often have a fever, fatigue, muscle and body aches while some people may experience vomiting and diarrhoea. Over the counter medications and lozenges may provide some relief from symptoms. (Lozenges should not be given to young children) Antibiotics cannot treat a cold virus as antibiotics are only effective against bacteria.
HIV: The first stage of HIV infection (the primary stage) presents its self as a “flu-like” illness and symptoms such as fever, headaches, sore throat, fatigue, chills, rash, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes while some may not experience any symptoms at all. Also, a person who is HIV-positive may have a chronic or a recurring sore throat due to a secondary infection. Get tested!
Mononucleosis: (mono) usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) typically occurs in teenagers. Mono can be spread through contact with saliva, mucus from the nose and throat. Because the virus can be spread through saliva, it is nicknamed the kissing disease. People with mono often have a high fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, weakness, and fatigue. There's no specific treatment for mononucleosis as antibiotics don’t work against viral infections. Bed rest, and drinking plenty of fluids is advised. See your doctor to confirm the cause of your symptoms.
Tonsillitis: is an inflammation of the tonsils (tissue masses located at the back of the throat) and can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. Those who have tonsillitis may have throat pain, redness or a white/yellow coating on the tonsils, hoarseness or loss of voice, headache, earache, difficulty swallowing or breathing, swollen glands in the neck or jaw area and bad breath. If the tonsillitis infection is bacterial then antibiotics will be given however if the infection is viral antibiotics will not help and the virus must run its course for the symptoms to resolve. Taking an over the counter pain reliever may help. For those experiencing tonsillitis regularly, they may benefit from a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils).
Strep Throat: Caused by an infection of streptococcus bacteria and spreads by having contact with an infected person's saliva or nasal secretions. Those who are infected with strep throat may experience a severe sore throat, red, and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches, painful swallowing, tender lymph nodes in the neck and fever. It is important that if strep throat is suspected that medical attention is sought, or it may lead to more serious health complications such as rheumatic fever (a disease that may harm the heart valves). Strep throat is treated using antibiotics, which kill the bacteria causing the infection. It is important to take medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor including finishing the course even if you feel better.
Diphtheria: A bacterial infection which causes severe inflammation of the nose throat and windpipe and is easily spread. Signs and symptoms may vary from mild to severe and usually start with a sore throat and fever two days after exposure. In severe cases, a grey patch develops in the throat which can block the airway. The neck may swell due to large lymph nodes. If it’s left untreated, diphtheria can cause severe damage to your kidneys, nervous system, and heart. If suspected talk to your doctor. Vaccinations are available for Diphtheria.
Measles: (rubeola), is a viral infection of the respiratory system. Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with virus-infected fluid, such as the droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles sneezes or coughs. Symptoms include a distinct rash, cough, fever, red eyes, runny nose, sore throat and tiny white/blue spots in the mouth. Talk to your doctor about vaccination.
Whooping cough: is contagious and spreads through contaminated droplets in the air produced during coughing. Whooping cough usually evolved over a period weeks and usually starts with a sore throat, fever and a cough which worsens over time. Antibiotics are required in the early stages of infection.
Allergies: to pet dander, moulds, dust and pollen can cause a sore throat. The problem may be complicated by postnasal drip (when mucus runs down the back of your throat), which can irritate and inflame the throat. If you also experience sneezing, and a runny nose regularly talk to your doctor about allergy medications.
Dryness: Dry indoor air (especially when using heating) can make your throat feel rough and scratchy. Breathing through your mouth often due to chronic nasal congestion can also cause a dry, sore throat.
Irritants: Outside air pollution, cigarette smoke (smoker or secondhand smoke) and exposure to chemicals can also cause chronic sore throats. Chewing tobacco, alcohol and eating spicy foods also can irritate your throat.
Muscle strain: Trying to talk to someone in a noisy environment, yelling or talking for long periods without rest can cause a sore throat and hoarseness.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): a digestive condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). This condition can cause a sore throat, hoarseness, heartburn, regurgitation of stomach contents, nausea, dry cough, and the feeling of having a lump in your throat. If you have acid reflux, your doctor may suggest some diet and lifestyle changes and may prescribe medication.
Tumours: Cancerous tumours of the throat, tongue or voice box (larynx) can cause a sore throat. Other signs or symptoms may include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, noisy breathing, a lump in the neck, and blood in saliva or phlegm.
Tuberculosis: Also known as TB. Do you have a persistent cough? Or a sore throat due to coughing? Do you experience chest pain, pain when breathing or coughing, fatigue, night sweats, chills? Are you coughing up blood or have you lost weight recently? See your doctor for a TB test today.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Most sore throats don’t require medical attention however, see your doctor if your sore throat lasts longer than one week or if your pain is severe, you have a high fever, rash or bloody mucous, red tonsils or white spots on the back of your throat or changes in breathing, swallowing or you experience frequent sore throats. If you have any other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant as you may be at a higher risk for complications see your doctor. Make a note of when symptoms started. Have you been in contact with any recent, possible sources of infection, such as a friend or family member with a sore throat or a cold? If antibiotics are required (for a bacterial infection) they must be taken exactly as advised and completed (even if you are feeling better) or the infection may return. If your pain or symptoms are worsening even if you are taking antibiotics to let your doctor know. Get immediate care if you or your child are experiencing severe signs such as difficulty breathing or swallowing or unusual drooling (which may indicate an inability to swallow).

Source: POMGH

What is a Sore Throat?

Do you frequently experience sore throats? Do you know what’s causing your throat pain? When should you see a doctor?
What is a Sore Throat?
A sore throat refers to pain or irritation of the throat and can come from many causes however viral infections are most common. A sore throat can affect people of all ages, however the risk for a sore throats is higher for those who work in health care, with children, smokers or exposure to secondhand smoke, people with allergies, those with a compromised immune system, dry air or pollution/irritants in the air or sharing close space with others. The symptoms relating to sore throats will depend on the underlying cause however a sore throat caused due to a viral infection such as the common cold cannot be treated with antibiotics as they will not be effective. Rest and pain management are advised for those suffering from viral infections. As a sore throat can sometimes be caused due to a bacterial infection such as strep throat, it is important to see your doctor if symptoms are severe as antibiotics may be required. See your doctor if you have any other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant as you may be at a higher risk for complications.
Risk factors for Sore Throats -
Although anyone can get a sore throat, some factors make you more susceptible:
Being a child or teenager: Children and teens are most likely to develop sore throats are most likely to have strep throat.
Exposure to tobacco smoke: Smoking and secondhand smoke can irritate the throat and also increases the risk of several types of cancer.
Having allergies: If you have seasonal allergies or ongoing allergic reactions to dust, moulds or pet dander you are more likely to experience sore throats.
Exposure to chemical irritants: common household chemicals can cause throat irritation.
Chronic or frequent sinus infections: increase the risk of a sore throat as drainage from the nose can irritate the throat or spread infection.
Living or working in close quarters: Viral and bacterial infections spread easily anywhere people gather.
Having decreased immunity: You're more susceptible to infections in general if your resistance is low. Common causes of lowered immunity include HIV, diabetes, those on chemotherapy drugs, stress, fatigue, and poor diet.
When Should I See a Doctor?
Most sore throats don’t require medical attention however, see your doctor if your sore throat lasts longer than one week or if your pain is severe, you have a high fever, rash or bloody mucous, red tonsils or white spots on the back of your throat or changes in breathing, swallowing or you experience frequent sore throats. If you have any other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant as you may be at a higher risk for complications see your doctor. Make a note of when symptoms started. Have you been in contact with any recent, possible sources of infection, such as a friend or family member with a sore throat or a cold? If antibiotics are required (for a bacterial infection) they must be taken exactly as advised and completed (even if you are feeling better) or the infection may return. If your pain or symptoms are worsening even if you are taking antibiotics to let your doctor know. Get immediate care if you or your child are experiencing severe signs such as difficulty breathing or swallowing or unusual drooling (which may indicate an inability to swallow).

Source: POMGH

Lions lasting commitment to improving life in PNG through eye health

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 4 March, 2016: Many lives in Papua New Guinea (PNG) will benefit from the opening of the Lions National Resource Centre for Eye Health on the University of PNG (UPNG) campus on March 9, 2016. This significant investment from the Lions Clubs International Foundation is an exciting initiative designed specifically to increase eye health outcomes for surrounding communities through both coordination of services and training of local eye care personnel.
Blindness and poor vision have a serious impact on individual lives in PNG, leaving a lasting effect on the economy of communities and the country, leading to loss of productivity, greater unemployment and increased health care costs.
Figures show vision impairment for people 50 years and older is 29.2%, with the major causes being the need for spectacles (45.7%) and cataract (35.2%). Furthermore, there are currently only 14 ophthalmologists in PNG, whereas 72 is the figure suggested by the World Health Organization guidelines.
The urgent need for eye care in PNG is the focus of the ongoing initiative between PNG Eye Care, Brien Holden Vision Institute and the PNG and Australian governments to develop sustainable systems providing increased access to eye care for all local people. This collaborative relationship began in 2008 and has already achieved increased outcomes in eye care for tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans.
Samuel Koim, Senior Manager, PNG Eye Care spoke about the new centre. “Too often we see a devastating and, sadly, unnecessary toll on communities and individuals alike which could have been prevented with access to eye care. We must continue to work together to address and increase delivery and awareness within PNG. We are very grateful to Lions for their investment in the Lions National Resource Centre for Eye Health.”
Amanda Davis, Chief Operating Officer, Public Health, Brien Holden Vision Institute is attending the launch. “The Lions National Resource Centre will significantly lift the profile of eye care in PNG and that of the Medical School at the University of Papua New Guinea; encourage and invigorate the training and practice of refraction and ophthalmology plus provide a great model for public-private funding partnerships,” she said.
During 2014 Lions Clubs Australia approached Vision 2020 Australia for ideas to develop a funding proposal for PNG. Led by Vision 2020 member, Brien Holden Vision Institute, extensive consultations were held with all stakeholders, including the members of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee, UPNG, the Department Of Health and local ophthalmologists.
As a result, it was decided that the best way to support eye health in PNG, was to develop a National Resource Centre for Eye Health (NRC) at UPNG. The NRC will operate to centrally coordinate:
• Coordination of eye care services and health promotion activities to increase awareness in PNG
• Central hub for distribution of low cost spectacles and low vision devices within PNG
• Education and training of eye care personnel including nurses, ophthalmologists and spectacle technicians
• Capacity development of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee supporting national advocacy
In coordination with this project, CBM PNG, a member of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee, has been working with UPNG to develop and fund a position for an ophthalmology lecturer at UPNG. This development will further add to the strength of the project and to the profile of eye health in PNG.
Thank you to the key stakeholders for making this project a reality, including Vision 2020 Australia, Brien Holden Vision Institute, CBM, National Prevention of Blindness Committee, UPNG and the Department of Health. Special thanks to Lions PNG and Australia for supporting the project application and for securing funding through Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mendi Nurse receives Women of courage Award

Congratulations to Winnie William for picking up the WOMAN OF COURAGE AWARD today during the 2016 Women’s Forum currently underway at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Port Moresby.
Established in 2007, the U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award honors women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress -- often at great personal risk.
US Ambassador Ebert-Gray said, “Winnie consistently demonstrated exceptional courage and impact in advocating for good governance, law and order, and women’s empowerment in Papua New Guinea. In spite of personal threats, discrimination, lawlessness, and violent criminal acts, Winnie steadfastly placed her own life in danger to save other women from horrific sorcery-related violence.”
Ms. William, from Mendi in the Southern Highlands Province, is a medical professional and serves as the Catholic Health Secretary for the Diocese of Mendi. She received her degree in general nursing at the School of Nursing in East New Britain Province. She later went on to complete her Master’s degree. She is a wife and a mother of three children.
She is an inspiring role model of leadership and manages almost 20 health clinics, aid posts, and Voluntary Care Counseling Test (VCCT) Centers, which provide primary health care and HIV/AIDS services in the unserved remote areas in Southern Highlands and Hela Provinces.