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5/5/2013

Chikungunya – Malaria

Filed under: disease/health,png — admin @ 11:30 am

Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to avoid Chikungunya fever because the virus is carried by infected Aedes mosquitoes.
This is according to a fact sheet distributed by the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR). The factsheet says that if a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the virus biting another person. These mosquitoes can be identified by the white stripes on their black bodies and legs and aggressive during the day.
Symptoms of appear on average 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and most patients feel better after a few days or weeks. Some people may develop longer term joint pain. Some of the symptoms include; sudden onset of fever, severe joint pain in arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, nausea and rash. To avoid been infected, people should avoid mosquito bites. According to the factsheet, a person with chikungunya fever should limit their exposure to mosquito bittes to avoid infecting other people.
The mosquitoes carrying the virus live in a wide range of habitats. One main area is standing or stagnant water, where mosquito eggs develop into adults.
There is no specific medication or vaccine available for chikungunya but it should be treated with panadol and not aspirin.

ALMOST 90 per cent of the country’s population is at risk of malaria.
Each and every district in our country continues to record malaria cases. In fact, PNG has the highest malaria burden in the Western Pacific Region. Approximately 1.7 million clinical cases of the disease are recorded in the health facilities each year, and up to 600 deaths.
Reported incidences of clinical malaria was 1.6 million in 2008.
Last year reported infections were 1,1 million. During the same period, the reported number of deaths was also reduced by one third from over 600 to 431 in 2012.
While celebrating Malaria Day last week in Port Moresby, Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag said PNG has made some significant progress in reducing the malaria burden and ultimately achieving elimination.
“All our health indicators do not look very good compared to the rest of the pacific, and I believe that we can improve many of our health indicators simply by concentrating our efforts on very high health impact diseases of which malaria happens to top the list,” Mr Malabag said. Rotary Against Malaria, Oil Search, and Population Services International (PSI) were acknowledged as major partners in the fight against malaria.
He noted the health department has pooled substantial resources from external sources to fund our efforts to control malaria.
From 2005-2009 the Global Fund had provided over $US20 million under the round three grant. In the current round eight grant, the global fund has again made available anther $US 120 million. AusAID has provided $A3 million for the past three years and WHO has continued to provide technical support.
Furthermore, the minister said he is encouraged by the partnerships between the private sector and the department in malaria control efforts. The minister left a challenge with other members of parliament and provincial governments to recognise the impact of malaria on the lives of people and take action.

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