The program is showing encouraging signs in New Ireland Province where the prevalence rate has been reduced from 30 percent to 1 percent.
The notes on the Phase 2 LF project Record of Discussion were signed by Department of Health Deputy Secretary (Public Health) Ken Wai and JICA Chief Representative to PNG, Masato Koinuma.
Phase 2 of the program will be extended to cover other provinces where the disease is endemic.
ENBP successfully completed 2 rounds of Mass Drug Administration and is now planning to do first Transmission Assessment Survey this year.
Wai thanked the Japanese Government for its support in the program, saying Japan has been a traditional partner of PNG. He also said it was about time ‘we eliminated some diseases’ such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS so that focus will be made on growing lifestyle diseases.
Koinuma said he was pleased that JICA would be expanding its cooperation to include other provinces where Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) are endemic.
The target provinces for the phase 2 of the program includes West New Britain, East New Britain, New Ireland, East and West Sepik, Manus and Bougainville.
“We hope that this project will improve the livelihood and well-being of PNG Citizens in those target provinces and expand its outputs to the country through the NDoH.
“JICA will continue to work in partnership with NDoH and all stakeholders to ensure we achieve the project outputs within the timeframe thus contribute to achieve PNG’s Health goals for a healthy PNG,” he stated.
Lymphatic Filariasis is a mosquito-borne disease and is one of the leading causes of permanent and long-term disability worldwide.