Health Secretary Pascoe Kase

Health secretary’s polio update

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the rate at which polio has spread has quadrupled within the first four months since the first confirmed case of a 6-year-old boy in Morobe on 28th April, 2018.

“That means that we have 40 percent or 9 of the provinces in the country had recorded a case/s.

“The National Government has supported the polio campaign with K6 million and out of that, we have only received K2m.

Public campaign by Health Dept

This comes especially at a time when the government has heavily invested in roads and infrastructure while there has been a notable increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases.

The Department of Health has launched a public campaign to inform people that prevention is important, and this includes lifestyle changes.

Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the health system provides a mix of responses and treatments, whether it is primary health care from an aid post or health centre or sophisticated surgical interventions from a tertiary hospital.

First ever Anti-Malaria Centre set to open

The construction of this specialist centre will boost the country’s efforts towards managing and eradicating malaria.

Health Secretary Kase said malaria, although preventable and curable, continues to remain as a top killer disease in the country.

The Health Department over the years has implemented anti-malarial campaigns and programs nationwide such as the treated bed nets initiative and the current mass drug administration in Milne Bay Province.

Health secretary concerned over doctor’s assault

Kase said he is alarmed that this has happened to a highly valued member of the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Without commenting on the actions that that led to the unfortunate event, Kase confirmed the situation is now a matter for the Royal Papua New Guinea Police and the Courts to deal with.

The Secretary asked people in the community to reflect on this incident and put themselves in the place of health workers nationwide who dedicate their lives every day to provide health care for Papua New Guineans.

PNG Disable Board receives grant from NDOH

This grant as per the board’s revised budget, will go to assisting services provided for the 15 percent population of Papua New Guinea living with disabilities.

And one key area is Community based rehabilitation, according to Interim Chairman, Ben Theodore.

Theodore noted three main issues - assistive device, psycho-social community and the curriculum being more inclusive in order to address disability equally across the board.

Health Secretary aware of drugs shortage

“I was also aware of the very legitimate concerns expressed by the community and of the doubts this issue raised in the capacity of the health system to deliver timely and appropriate care,” he says.

Kase said this in response to a number of concerns raised by the community and some public hospitals in the country regarding the shortage of medical supplies and some critical medicine in the country.

He says his team is in regular contact with health services to determine the high priority supplies of concern.

Kase defends procurement of medical drugs

Kase said it was incorrect to say that the unavailability of medical supplies in the country relates to poor procurement practices by the National Department of Health.

He said the procurement of medical drugs and equipment were complex but had been successful in the last five years.

Kase clarified that the Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) awards the contract to the company involved in the distribution of medical kits in the country. 

There is no shortage of drugs: Kase

The Secretary made this statement after media reports of medical drugs shortages surfaced.  

“I reiterate that funding is not an issue and there are medical supplies available in all Area Medical Stores to be issued to health facilities in the country. Any shortage of drugs in the provinces and at facility level is manageable,” Kase said.   

“The Department of Health works in close collaboration with relevant government agencies to ensure that health facilities receive funds adequate to maintain appropriate stock level of medical supplies and provision of health services.

Tobacco Control Act to discourage smoking: Kase

“This important law is intended to regulate the manufacturing, importation, distribution, sale and use of tobacco,” Kase said.

He said it will also cover tobacco advertising.

The Act grants power to the Governor General to nominate dates of the various parts of the Act to become effective.

“My department is currently working on a submission to the National Executive Council to advise our new Governor General to issue a notice under the Act about the size of cigarette packets and packages of loose tobaccos,” Kase said.

Health Department’s Christmas message

Health secretary Pascoe Kase said this in his Christmas message to Papua New Guinea.

“By 2017, the Health Department proposes to have a bill passed for specialist hospitals. Four hospitals in the country will be declared Specialist Hospitals. Only patients who need specialist medical care will be referred to those hospitals,” Kase said in a statement.

“Health has come a long way prior to independence, primarily focusing on the clinical care and treatment programs, rehabilitation of general hospitals and building of district health facilities.