Health

Pacific Islands Regional Profile - Health Photo

Papua New Guinea suffers from one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands. While overall adult prevalence is nearly 1 percent, HIV infection rates are much higher among key populations, including transactional sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgenders. In partnership with the National Department of Health, USAID addresses Papua New Guinea’s HIV/AIDS epidemic by supporting a continuum-of-care model that links prevention, care, support and treatment services for people vulnerable to, living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. USAID builds on this successful model by delivering HIV/AIDS services to more than 17,000 key affected populations, as well as by linking those affected by gender-based violence - a key contributing factor to HIV infection in women - to support services.

In addition, Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of tuberculosis (TB) in the Pacific Islands region and one of the highest rates of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world. USAID provides technical assistance and support for systematic screening and strengthening treatment regimens for MDR-TB and Extensively Drug-Resistant TB.

USAID works to bolster health systems, including improving the purchase and distribution of medical commodities and supplies. USAID is providing technical assistance to improve the supply chain management systems to address this issue.

PROJECTS

Strengthening HIV/AIDS Services for Key Populations in Papua New Guinea
*U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) project managed by USAID/Philippines
Papua New Guinea suffers the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands. The project, funded through PEPFAR and managed by USAID, closely monitors HIV prevalence and strategically directs its outreach and treatment services to areas of greatest need in the capital city, Port Moresby. It also improves patient adherence to the lifetime of treatment that is currently required. In alignment with the National AIDS Strategy, this is the first project in the country to target outreach for HIV prevention and testing for key, highly stigmatized populations. From September 2016 to June 2017, almost 3,400 individuals received HIV testing and counseling, with 5 percent testing positive for the disease and starting treatment. The project also funds a hotline for those affected by gender-based violence, a key contributing factor to HIV infection in women.

Tuberculosis (TB) Assistance in Papua New Guinea (via multiple awards)
*Managed by USAID/RDMA with USAID/Washington TB funds
Papua New Guinea has the second highest tuberculosis and Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) prevalence in the Western Pacific Region. The CAP-TB project complements current measures in Papua New Guinea to improve the treatment outcomes for drug-resistant TB. It also improves case detection for drug-resistant TB on Daru Island. This project encourages appropriate monitoring and management of new TB medicines and regimens to promote drug safety. USAID provided two GeneXpert machines to quickly and effectively diagnose MDR-TB and, together with Janssen Therapeutics, introduced bedaquiline into the Papua New Guinea market. The drug treats patients suffering from MDR-TB, which is resistant to the two most effective anti-TB drugs available today. USAID funding to the World Health Organization to provide technical assistance has also supported efforts to eliminate MDR-TB in Papua New Guinea, focused on strengthening the detection of adverse events for patients on new TB drugs such as bedaquiline.

U.S-Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration
*Managed by USAID/Washington
USAID partners with APEC to promote free and open trade and investment, as well as to strengthen and deepen economic integration in the region. The project promotes good regulatory practices; fosters trade and investment in environmental goods and services; improves supply chain performance; aligns standards and codes; and advances progress in other policy areas. Additionally, the project has helped prepare Papua New Guinea’s APEC Secretariat to host its first APEC meeting in 2018 and held workshops for government officials to help them better engage with current international agendas.

Last updated: July 03, 2019

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