He said this at a dinner on 28th February, hosted for CEOs of PHAs, COVID-19 Task Force, NDoH and partners who are in Port Moresby for a week-long planning workshop on COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the provinces.
Prime Minister Marape said the workshop is timely when PNG will conduct its 2022 National General Elections amid the pandemic.
He said the country could not have survived the pandemic without the efforts put in by the cadre of health care workers in the provinces and healthcare establishments.
He wants PHAs, the COVID-1 vaccine Task Force, NDoH and partners to work hand in hand to get more people vaccinated of COVID-19. Since PNG recorded its first case in March 2020 there is about 36 866 cases including 597 deaths reported from all 22 provinces as of 30th January 2022.
A Department of Health Report indicates that 5.8 per cent, that is 295 610 persons of the population have received their first dose and alarmingly just 4.6 percent, that is 234, 710 people of the total population are fully vaccinated from COVID-19.
The Government views that there needs to be a coordination and close working relation between the NDOH, NCC, churches and the PHA to ensure the message to get more people vaccinated is out.
It aims at collating information and understanding challenges and success of the vaccination rollout from the experience of provinces. From this, workable solutions are undertaken to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake in 2022.
Prime Minister Marape said one of the outcomes is to ensure they are fully aware of the 2022 strategy and plan for COVID-19 vaccine rollout, boosters and role of partners and provincial level leadership and funding mechanisms.
The PHAs and Coordinating Partner COVID-19 Vaccine Planning and Coordination Workshop ends tomorrow, Thursday 03rd March.
“I thank the professional input and hardwork by our doctors and nurses, community health workers and others, we could not have come this far. There is much more we can do for our public health care going forward and I ask you all to work together with the Health Department and our multilateral and bilateral partners.
“I urge CEOs of PHAs to dissect the National Health Plan 2020-2030 and come up with a workable pathway in delivering modern health care to our citizens to the best of our abilities despite the constraints we have,” said Prime Minister Marape.