PNG-Indo undertake cross-border measures

PNG has entered into an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia to enhance coordination and collaboration to prevent the spread of polio, rubella and other vaccine-preventable disease.

These cross-border measures were agreed upon after a meeting on 13 September in Port Moresby.

An agreement to strengthen surveillance across the border through regular exchange of surveillance and immunisation information was also reached.

Both countries agreed on specific actions that would be implemented in response to the ongoing polio outbreak in the country, including synchronising vaccination campaigns, mapping of high risk areas and healthcare facilities for border crossing, establishment of polio vaccination posts at cross borders, enhancing disease surveillance and conducting joint investigations.

Given the proximity of Indonesia to PNG and in consideration of significant population movement between the two countries, Indonesia has initiated response measures including conducting regular risk assessments, enhancing surveillance and including polio vaccine in its ongoing measles-rubella vaccination campaigns for children 0-5 years old.

To synchronise with the nationwide polio campaign in PNG, the five cross-border districts of Indonesia will also vaccinate children under 15 years old, starting 1 October 2018.

Both parties also agreed to conduct the cross border meeting every three months starting December 2018.

Cedric Patjole