PNG Health Secretary: Funding For People Living With HIV Continues

Earlier reports erroneously say Australia to cut funding for retroviral therapy

By Grace Auka Salmang

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 8, 2016) – More than 22,000 people living with human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) are currently enrolled in care and treatment programs including 1170 children, and there will be no disruption to the care and treatment services to PLHIV, says Health Secretary Pascoe Kase.

He revealed this yesterday saying the departments’ major partner in this critical area is the Australian Government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

"Despite recent reporting that DFAT is withdrawing funding for HIV in PNG, the fact is that DFAT is continuing to fund treatment support for HIV, directly through non-governmental organisation programs, as well as funding health department HIV support projects," he said.

Mr Kase said that DFAT would continue to ensure that the Health Department receives assistance so that there will be no disruption to the care and treatment services to people living with HIV.

"Since 2011, the Government of PNG has consistently supported the entire procurement 100 per cent of Antiretroviral (ARV) Drugs including test kits and other commodities at an annual cost of K16 million," Kase said, adding that the support from the PNG Government would continue.

"The PNG Government is receiving DFAT support in many areas not just HIV treatment.

"They have provided support in the areas of Tuberculosis (TB), nursing schools across the country, infrastructure development, area medical stores and technical assistance to the department," he said.

PNG Post-Courier
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