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Papua New Guinea (PNG) Covid-19 outbreak, vaccine campaign

Healthcare professionals are preparing to test for Covid-19 coronavirus outside a temporary clinic at the Sports Stadium in Port Moresby on April 1, 2021.

Goresee Kenneth | AFP | Getty Images

False information on social media is hampering Papua New Guinea’s vaccination efforts.

According to PNG’s Covid-19 response controller, many people are hesitant to get the vaccine because of the widespread misinformation about the vaccine, despite the proliferation of coronavirus cases.

According to a joint report by the World Health Organization and the PNG National Health Service, the country reported 1,730 cases and 12 deaths between March 29 and April 4.

Infectious disease cases saw a new surge in February According to data from Johns Hopkins University, PNG has reported 7,839 cases so far. However, the consensus is that the actual numbers are much higher and are hidden by poor testing capabilities and other logistical issues.

“We’ve settled on some sort of complacency, a false sense of security, overcoming the first wave,” PNG’s Covid-19 national pandemic-enabled controller, David Manning, told CNBC. Koulouris..

Located in the north of Australia, Papua New Guinea is an island nation with abundant forests and a population of less than 9 million.

Of course, this is due to the hesitation of the vaccine, and you can attribute it to lack of consciousness.

David manning

Papua New Guinea, a nationwide pandemic controller

The metropolitan area, home to Port Moresby, the capital of PNG, is followed by the western province, which has the highest number of reported cases and rising infection rates.

William Pomat, director of the PNG Medical Institute, told CNBC last week that a combination of events such as funerals, holidays and reopening of school led to a “continuous infection of the virus.”

Vaccine hesitant

So-called “Vaccine nationalism“It makes it difficult for small developing countries like PNG to access shots and inoculate the population. Many of them rely on an international vaccination initiative called Covax, but vaccines for that program. Supply is Facing a delay from India, Again, I’m having a hard time curbing the surge in cases at home.

PNG deployed about 8,000 vaccination drives last week. AstraZenecaCovid-19 shots donated by neighboring Australia.More doses are reportedly expected in the coming weeks China And India..

According to Manning, the island nation has vaccinated less than 600 people so far, far behind schedule.

“Of course, this is due to the hesitation of the vaccine and can be due to lack of consciousness. It’s basically information about the side effects of the vaccine and whether there is false news spreading through social media,” he said. Said. He added that there was relatively little backlash from urban vaccine skeptics.

Fight against false alarms

According to Manning, Facebook contacted PNG and asked how it could help dispel some of the misinformation that social networks are spreading, but he elaborated on the details of the conversation. There wasn’t.

Facebook launched a public education campaign in PNG this week to help users there learn how to identify and fight false health information. It runs for 5 weeks and includes graphics and videos in multiple languages.

“The campaign is focusing more on targeting false information about Covid-19 and vaccines, allowing Papua New Guineans to scrutinize what they see on official public health resources. “Mia Garrick, Australia’s Director of Public Policy, said. Facebook’s New Zealand and Pacific Islands said in a statement Wednesday.

“This campaign will also be added to the prompts launched in Papua New Guinea last week.
We provide local users with tips on how to prevent Covid-19, “Garlick added.

Emphasized healthcare infrastructure

This outbreak is overstressing PNG’s already poor healthcare infrastructure.

International organizations such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warns of imminent collapse.. Many of the already few front-line healthcare professionals are infected with Covid-19, experts say.

“If they get sick, no one will be standing because of Covid, but other illnesses,” said Pomat of the Institute of Medicine.

He explained that the Covid test is “only done for those who may appear.” (so) Medical facilities when symptoms are present and people who volunteer to enter. “

Still, hospitals and healthcare facilities lack the components needed to perform these tests.

PNG is working with development partners, including Australia, to secure a supply of more test kits and components, while also enforcing more stringent social restrictions. For example, while travel between states is tightly regulated, stores are required to deny entry to people who are not wearing masks.

According to Manning, the pandemic response needs to be tailored not only to the coastal areas of PNG, but also to the highlands where it is difficult to provide medical, police and government services at the best of times.

“So we are now shifting our focus from national to local response and working closely together. With the current surge in state health authorities, “he said.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) Covid-19 outbreak, vaccine campaign

Source link Papua New Guinea (PNG) Covid-19 outbreak, vaccine campaign

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