Health in PNG

There are many challenges in healthcare in PNG. Tropical diseases are widespread, with some developing drug resistance. There can be major difficulties in getting to health posts and hospitals. Tuberculosis is one of the greatest health problems in PNG. It is a disease that attacks the respiratory system. Worldwide, while there has been much progress, it remains as one of the leading causes of death. In PNG, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is now becoming more commonplace and is resistant to frontline drugs.

 

While huge progress has been made around the world in tackling HIV, there are still a large number of people in PNG who suffer from the disease and they are vulnerable to many other illnesses, including TB.

PNG has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. Mothers often are unable to access a health facility where trained attendants can assist. It is still commonplace for women to deliver their baby in the village.

Malaria is a mosquito transmitted disease. Parasites enter the human system where they cause flu like symptoms. These are debilitating to anyone, but particularly dangerous to pregnant mothers and children. Severe disabilities including death can result. Treatment for malaria is currently effective but relies on the patient reaching a health facility for diagnosis and treatment.

Health facilities in PNG are often restricted. With limited facilities and difficulty in obtaining reliable drugs, becoming sick in PNG can present problems.