Every now and then it surfaces up in the newspapers and the health conferences that PNG is doing extremely bad in terms of preserving and improving the health of the people. And the trend is just a downward spiral despite many National Health Plans since independence. Everytime a bad statistic is reported e.g. poor MMR or IMR, our leaders react; often the approach taken is isolated and narrow based. From my observation in the rural areas where the 86% of people are, it is obvious that there are many other non-health compounding factors which contribute to health issues. Let me list some of them:
1). Lack or no Transport.
2). Poor road infrastructure.
3). Lack of financial capacity of patients/people to meet health expenses.
4). Harsh geographical location.
5). Poor Management.
6). High illiteracy rate.
8). Tribal fights.
The other causes directly related to health are:
1). Small health work force.
2). Lack of skilled workforce including doctors especially in rural areas.
3). Poorly funded or badly managed health facilities.
4). Inefficient drug and medical supplies distribution.
5). Ineffective preventive health sector.
6). Poor attitude to work.
So the task of improving the statistics must be a shared responsibility and not only the health department.
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Appalling PNG Health Statistics: A Developmental Issue.
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