News - 2015

Papua New Guinea Intensifies Campaign Against TB and Malaria

16 February 2015

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea - Papua New Guinea and the Global Fund signed three new grant agreements with a combined value of US$50 million, underscoring their joint resolve to defeat tuberculosis and malaria.

The financial resources provided through the Global Fund come from many donors, represented at today's signing ceremony by Australia, the United States and the European Union. The grant agreements embody a partnership with Papua New Guinea and Rotarians Against Malaria, Population Services International and World Vision, who will implement the programs.

The two malaria grants, for a combined total of US$32 million, will be used to fund distribution of 2.8 million mosquito nets and training of community health workers. The grants also support prompt diagnosis of malaria, strengthen monitoring and improve access to care for the country's most disadvantaged communities. Population Services International and Rotarians Against Malaria will implement the grants, drawing on extensive private sector insight and experience to achieve value for money.

The other US$18 million grant, to be implemented by World Vision, aims to reduce the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea.

The grant will be used to improve recruitment and retention of clinical staff and also to improve access to quality drugs and laboratory diagnostics for HIV, TB and malaria, supporting a stronger health system as a whole.

The grants are the first to be signed in Papua New Guinea under the funding model adopted in early 2014.

Papua New Guinea has made significant progress in its campaign against malaria. According to the World Health Organisation, malaria prevalence has decreased from 12.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Key to this success has been an aggressive mosquito net distribution program. Approximately 82 per cent of households now own at least one net.

More cases of tuberculosis are being treated than before and case detection of the disease has risen to 89 percent in 2013 from 61 percent in 2010.

The Honourable Michael Malabag, Papua New Guinea Minister for Health and HIV said: "I want to thank the PNG Country Coordinating Mechanism and Health Department for the proposals which have secured this funding to continue the good work that has already been achieved with the support of the Global Fund. Tuberculosis and malaria are major health challenges in Papua New Guinea, and I thank the Global Fund for supporting our national disease strategies and programs."

Tim Costello, the CEO of World Vision, said the new grant would support partners in the country to save many more lives in the years to come: "Working closely with the PNG Ministry of Health as well as our all-important partners in each of PNG's 22 provinces, World Vision together with the national TB program have been able to make a real difference in the past four years, saving many lives and now with this grant, paving the way to saving many more."

Gabrielle Ganci, the country representative for Population Services International said: "PSI is proud to be part of the national malaria prevention and treatment programs in Papua New Guinea supported by the Global Fund. We stand together with the Global Fund and the National Department of Health to reduce malaria-related death and illness in Papua New Guinea, especially among pregnant women and children."

Ron Seddon, Managing Director of Rotarians Against Malaria, said: "Despite many difficulties and the inhospitable terrain, we have distributed mosquito nets to homes in every village in PNG. This has been possible by working very closely with the National Department of Health, provincial health authorities and churches to severely reduce malaria in Papua New Guinea."

Australian High Commissioner, Deborah Stokes said: "Australia's partnership with the Global Fund and PNG is supporting progress in malaria control and improved management of TB and HIV in all provinces. We are very happy to continue to work with the Global Fund to save lives by supporting PNG's fight against these preventable diseases."

US Ambassador, Walter North said: "The United States is proud to be a very significant supporter of the Global Fund and we welcome enhanced accountability measures. We encourage Government to meet its commitment to step up its efforts to address the serious threat of these diseases."

EU Ambassador, Martin Dihm said: "The fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is a very important objective in Papua New Guinea for the European Union. The EU and its member states are committed to improving the lives of PNG people."

Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund said: "Today we are coming together in solidarity to support the people of PNG as they build a healthier future. It's especially welcoming to see the critical contribution of the private sector to the partnership."