STOP PRESS: MALARIA UPDATE
Papua New Guinea recently marked World Malaria Day with an official ceremony, with representatives from the governments of PNG, Australia and China speaking of their collective aim to eradicate malaria from PNG for good. The Australia–China–Papua New Guinea Trilateral Malaria Project aims to rid the country of malaria by 2020.
As part of the project, the Chinese Government has provided a substantial amount of anti-malaria drugs to PNG and is supporting malaria control throughout the country, with the help and backing of the Australian and PNG governments.
Australian High Commission representative, Andrew Dollimore, says continuous support will be given to fight malaria and help “create awareness on malaria-related health issues, and reflect on measures of preventing, controlling and eliminating the illness in PNG”.
“Apart from Africa, Papua New Guinea has the highest malaria burden in the world,” according to Dr Paison Dakulala, deputy secretary for the National Department of Health, adding that malaria is easily preventable.
The simplest preventative measures against contracting malaria, according to the peak malaria body malaria.org, include using insecticide-treated bed nets, wearing longsleeved clothing at dusk, dawn and night, and using insecticide generally.
These steps, in combination with the medicines now available, mean the race to eradicate malaria can soon be won, authorities say.