Appropriate Technologies for PNG Child Health

The latest national health plan, 2010 – 2020 has just been launched! I am trying to get a copy of this plan? I will try to get an electronic copy.

Below is the link to the PNG Child Health Plan 2008 – 2015

From a medical technological point of view I picked up a couple of issues.

1. The sourcing and supply of high quality, yet afforadable rapid tests especially for    Malaria, syphillis and HIV

Needless to say Malaria is a very common disease throughout PNG.  Because of     unavailabilty and/or unreliabilty of malaria diagnosis almost all patients with a fever are given a coarse antimalarials.  This approach is not only uneconomical but accelerates the process of development of drug resistance strains of malaria.

Rapid Tests for malaria need to be easy to use, highly sensitive and specific so that health care workers can have the outmost confidence in their diagnostic power when deciding the best clinical management of their febril patients.

2.  There is a need to establish the extent of other common causes of fever that may present with similar symptoms.  One such disease is dengue fever.  The diagnosis of dengue is routinely established by the detection of antibodies to dengue virus in the blood…….more on this

3.  Another technological need highlighted in the plan was in the area of hospital oxygen systems for the treatment of hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels).  And the oxygen concentrater and pulse oxymeter were identified as essential for this.  These technologies need to be robust and able to withstand the “rough environments” of PNG  and importantly, there needs to be appropriate technical support for these technologies which need to be routinely maintained and serviced.

3.  TB Diagnostics- Rapid TB DNA test are now available.  They DO NOT require a PCR machine and can be performed at the district health centre level.  They do need some minimal storage facilities and some low tech equipment that can be supplied.  Their feasability in the PNG setting needs to be look at.

About Dr. Poyap J Rooney

Dr. Rooney is a medical doctor who has gained both his undergraduate medical degree and more recently his post graduate masters degree in clinical biochemistry at the University of Papua New Guinea.
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One Response to Appropriate Technologies for PNG Child Health

  1. Charmaine says:

    Will have to get my brother in-law who is based in Pom to read your blog of PNG doctors heading down to work. He’s a doctor based in Pom and was cosidering working in the outback.

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