Health (including water, sanitation and hygiene - WASH)
Men, women and children in PNG continue to die from treatable and preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, TB and diarrhoea. Life expectancy in PNG is still very low (62 for males compared with 82 in Australia),[i] and child deaths remain high (54 per1000 live births).[ii] A major challenge to improving people’s health relates to their views on illnesses, limited access to water, sanitation and health services and cultural practices.
World Vision aims to improve the health of women and children through programs that promote breast feeding, eating locally available nutritious foods, immunisations, malaria prevention, family planning and improved access to health care services. World Vision’s WASH projects also promote good hygiene practices like hand washing in the communities, and help them improve access to safe water and improved sanitation. We act as an advisor to the community and encourage them to take ownership of the project to ensure its sustainability.
TB treatment and prevention
World Vision’s TB program operates in 20 provinces across PNG as part of the government's National TB program. Our projects create awareness about TB, help communities to access the treatment they need, train community based observers to monitor patient treatment, train healthcare workers and clinically manage TB cases.
HIV and AIDS
PNG has the highest HIV rates of all Pacific island nations. Sexually Transmissible Infection (STI) rates are also very high. The increasing incidence of STIs and HIV/AIDS is due to lack of education and awareness, unsafe sexual practices and limited access to advice and care. World Vision’s HIV/AIDS work in PNG focuses on treatment, counselling, care, education, prevention and family and community support.
Only 56 percent of the population in PNG are literate [iii], which means education for children and adults is an important part of World Vision’s work. World Vision’s projects work with men and women to improve their literacy skills and provide opportunities for vulnerable girls and boys to develop basic literacy, numeracy and life skills to set them up for primary school.[i] www.indexmundi.com/australia/life_expectancy_at_birth.html [ii] UNICEF Childinfo # State of the World’s Children 2008[iii]http://www.unesco.org/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_93820D5A30951984665C75348D28BC774D221000/filename/Papua_New_Guinea.pdf