Investment In Preventive Public Health Programs In Local Communities Will Reduce PNG’S Disease Burden By More Than 50%!

I don’t think buying more sophisticated diagnostic equipment or the availability of very strong antibiotics will reduce our disease burden. Having more doctors or nurses will not help directly either. Sure, these things may but it’s like catching overflowing water in a bucket by having more dishes on the side to capture the over flow. What we need to do is fix the tap that’s running freely!

What has happened to Preventive health activities in our communities and villages? Things like general cleanliness, proper latrines, access to clean drinking water, oral hygiene, enforcing our public health laws in towns and suburbs, creating health Programs for the ever growing squatter settlements and you can think of some more.

I find PNG people to be generally  unaware of of health issues when it comes cleanliness in Communities. Or are they just ignorant. They want to be paid for doing an activity. Why can’t people just do it for the benefit of the local community?

People have been brain washed by the cash economy. Middle class craving for lifestyles they can’t afford. Village people want to make a fast Kina, legally or illegally. All at the expense of their health or the communities’.

So what will it take to change this self destructive behavior?

The answer is obvious. Public Health Programs embedded into our hospital services, school curriculum, work place health Programs, in villages and communities. And these activities require money and trained people.

Now comes issue of health funding and management. I will leave that issue for a different post.

A greater challenge that only require sweat and time is community mobilization to promote and sustain good Public Health behavior. Leave a comment on how you think this can be done.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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