Papua New Guinea Health Issues Become a Crucial Challenge Today

Papua New Guinea Health Issues Become a Crucial Challenge Today

Papua New Guinea Health Issues — The eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its surrounding islands in Melanesia make up the country of Papua New Guinea (Tok Pisin: Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; Hiri Motu: Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini)-a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. 

Papua New Guinea Health Issues Become a Crucial Challenge Today
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Port Moresby, on the country’s southeast coast, serves as its capital. The nation is the third-largest island nation in the world.

Government spending on health made up 9.5% of all spending in 2014, with overall health spending equaling 4.3% of GDP. In the early 2000s, there were five doctors per 100,000 inhabitants.

Health Condition in Papua New Guinea

In 2016, the birth life expectancy in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was 68 years for women and 64 years for males. Papua New Guinea health issues had a maternal death rate of 250 per 100,000 live births in 2010. 

In contrast, this to 476.3 in 1990 and 311.9 in 2008. Neonatal mortality as a percentage of under-5s’ death is 37, while the under-5 mortality rate is 69 per 1,000 births. The risk of maternal mortality is one in 94 for pregnant women in Papua New Guinea.

Given its income level, Papua New Guinea only meets 71.7% of health rights requirements based on the Human Rights Measurement Initiative. Papua New Guinea fulfills 90.8% of the requirements for the right to health for children based on its current income. 

Based on its wealth, the country only fully fulfills 81.6% of the adult population’s right to health. In analyzing the right to reproductive health, Papua New Guinea only meets 42.8% of the goals based on its resources (money).

Health Challenges in Papua New Guinea

Lower respiratory infections like TB are the infectious illnesses that kill the most people in PNG. In PNG, lower respiratory infections rank fourth in terms of fatalities.

  • Malaria

In PNG, malaria is the most common disease and the 27th most common killer. The most recent year for which data are available is 2003, which also saw 537 fatalities and 70,226 cases of malaria with laboratory confirmation. 

1,729,697 instances in all were likely. Acute respiratory illnesses, TB, diarrheal illnesses, and other infectious diseases are also significant issues.


In Asia-Pacific, Papua New Guinea is the fourth nation to meet the generalized HIV/AIDS pandemic criteria. It has the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS in the Pacific region. A serious issue is the lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, particularly in rural areas.

  • Poliomyelitis

In Morobe Province, a poliomyelitis epidemic in 2018 resulted in 10 confirmed cases. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed Papua New Guinea polio-free in 2000, there have been no verified cases.

Things That Make Papua New Guinea Health Issues Fragile

  • The Crisis is Obscured in Its Full Scope

In early October, Port Moresby General hospital said 60 percent of patients presenting with cold or flu tested positive for the virus, suggesting an alarming silent spread through communities already vulnerable to soaring comorbidities such as diabetes and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a survey in PNG has found that nearly 80 percent of people, including some health workers, do not trust the COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports suggest that misinformation has not only fueled extreme vaccine hesitancy denying Papuans the life-saving stab but also lies behind the threat to public health workers.

  • A Catastrophic Combination of Mistrust and Misinformation

Slow vaccine uptake has left Papua New Guinea’s health issues lagging behind its Pacific neighbors and facing a potentially catastrophic impact on its public health system.

In addition to severe infrastructure challenges, the country has high maternal, child, and infant mortality rates. At the same time, diseases such as malaria and HIV are rampant.

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