According To WHO, PNG Has Worst Health Status In Region

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Country ranks 157 out of 187 on UN Development Index

By Franklin Kolma

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 4, 2015) – Papua New Guinea has the worst health status in the Pacific region, according to a recent report by the World Health Organisation.

This being the projection from the 2015 United Nation’s Development Index in which PNG is ranked 157 out of 187 countries that are indexed world over.

WHO’s country representative in PNG Pieter Van Maaren told Post-Courier that it was a grotesque reality given the fact that PNG was the closest neighbour to Australia which currently seats second on the same UN Development Index.

Dr Maaren said that PNG’s population of more than seven million people has less than 400 doctors of which only 51 work outside Port Moresby, despite 85 per cent of people living in rural areas. That’s one doctor per 17,068 people, compared to the one per 302 in Australia.

Australian Doctors International’s PNG Program Manager Patrick McCloskey said when contrasting PNG and Australia’s health standards that, "they are nearest to each other, yet our standards of health are worlds apart."

He furthered that this was not anyone’s fault but rather ‘work in progress.’

Mr McCloskey through the Australian Doctors International’s information centre was able to provide a detailed report that vividly brought out the dire state of the country’s health sector.

"Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of HIV/AIDs in the Pacific, with overall adult prevalence at nearly 1% of the population.

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