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World Malaria Day 2016

World Malaria Day 25 April 2016 - Together we can ‘End Malaria for Good’!
 
The National Department of Health (NDOH), NCD Health Services together with the support of its implementing partners, PSI (Population Services International, Australia- China-PNG Pilot Project, PNG IMR, Rotarians Against Malaria and the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrated World Malaria Day in PNG with a special public event at Tokarara Health Clinic today
 
The World Malaria Day theme for 2016 is ‘End Malaria for Good’ and the message to all those involved in the fight against Malaria is to remain vigilant in our efforts, united in our purpose and focused on continuing the sustained gains made over the recent years, to ensure the job is finished and malaria is eliminated worldwide and in PNG. 
 
The focus of the day’s event for us as individuals, was how together can ‘End Malaria for Good’ if we continue to spread the message and understanding that Malaria is preventable and curable and how each of us can play our part in the campaign to ‘End Malaria for Good’.
 
NCD Health had 15 clinicians on site to service visitors to the clinic from a special RDT Testing Booth – for those who suspected they might have Malaria and were offering Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) and appropriate treatment if required.
 
Implementing partners PSI and RAM also hosted interactive booths each with a focus on one of the key strategies to ‘End Malaria for Good’ – the 3 T’s: Testing, Treatment, Tracking and of course Prevention including demonstrations on how to use Mosquito Nets. The day was formally recognized and opened by special guest’s speakers in attendance including Health Minister, Hon. Michael Malabag as well as the Health Secretary, Mr Pasco Kase.
 
Since 2000, malaria mortality rates fell by 47 percent worldwide- a remarkable fact thanks to efforts around the world, Papua New Guinea has shared in this momentum. Since 2009, deaths and hospital admission due to malaria has fallen more than half.
 
Papua New Guinea is just one of the worlds Malaria endemic countries. There are estimated 1 million cases of malaria each year in PNG. According to the World Malaria Report 2015, The National Malaria Control Program has achieved great success to date as demonstrated by: The proposition of RDT positive cases that treated with ACT rose from 0% to 78%; the incidence of malaria admissions to public health facilities decreased by more than 75% between 2000 and 2014 and; nationally representative household surveys indicated a drop in parasite prevalence from 12.4% to 1.8% between 2009 and 2014.
 
But again the message from Mr Leo Makita the Malaria Program Officer is to reinforce the fight against Malaria is to remain vigilant in our efforts and the responsibility is on all of us to continue the progression we have made. With a final reminder to all was to keep those of our population at highest risk safe; including pregnant mothers and children under 5 by remembering to, always sleep under a treated mosquito net!, get children under 5 tested on the first day of fever and complete the treatment according to the instructions given by the health worker

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