Programmes Manager Matt Halsey was interviewed yesterday on Radio New Zealand:
We are currently working with the World Health Organisation and the Papua New Guinea Department of Health on a new strategy to combat a severe resurgence of leprosy in the wider areas of Papua New Guinea. Currently, we focus our work in Boungainville where a programme has been established in five of the thirteen districts in Bougainville, read more about it here.
Papua New Guinea has been declared free of the disease - that is no more than one case per ten thousand people - but there are still areas in the country where levels are a lot higher than the 1/10,000 ratio.
Matt says the challenge is to improve health service delivery in remote areas and this is the focus of the new strategy.
"Really it is a matter of making the best use of the resources that are there and getting the provincial authorities in the high endemic areas and help staff in those areas all working together to deliver the health services more effectively and as part of that we can get leprosy under control in those areas, but this is always a challenge in countries like PNG" says Matt.
Matt is leaving for Boungainville this coming Sunday so check out our Facebook for an update on his trip in the coming week.
Two children in Boungainville playing in the green surroundings.