The 5th Conference of the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, Asia Pacific Region took place in Sydney this week, running between August 31st and September 2nd. While at the conference, Bobby Ramakant of Citizen News Service had the chance to sit down with Dr. Paison Dakulala, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health, Papua New Guinea to talk about another regional disease threat: malaria.
During the interview, Dr. Dakulala provided a snapshot of the malaria burden in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and outlined the progress that has been made in the last decade to get malaria under control with support from the Global Fund.
Citing the importance of the 2030 regional malaria elimination goal in aligning regional health priorities and galvanizing action for malaria, he went on to discuss the funding and capacity challenges that lie ahead for PNG and its malaria ‘hotspots’. On this topic, he said, “we still have a long way to go. We are not naive, we know where we have to continue the vigilant focus in dealing with malaria".
During the interview, Dr. Dakulala referred to several partners crucial to sustaining and accelerating malaria control in PNG, including APLMA, APMEN and Rotary International. Speaking about APLMA, he said, “The call made through the Prime Minister of Australia and the Prime Minister of Vietnam is a very important call. APLMA is the avenue through which we can [...] harness the resources and support to move towards the call for elimination”.
Watch the full interview: