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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, 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.

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