Girl builds a Library
Post Courier, 11/09/2012
A young Sepik girl’s dream to build a library full of books for her village school came true at last. On September 6, the brave 9-year-old, Deborah Buasin, was present to cut the ribbon and open the library. The ceremony was held at Saint Theodore Primary School at Woginara near Maprik where Ms Buasin comes from. Ms Buasin lives with her family in Lae but was determined to raise funds for a building and also to purchase books after visiting her village school. She said her grandfather Anton Namuesh rightly described a library as ‘a house of knowledge’. She said: “In the library are many books filled with all kinds of information about almost everything. “I believe library is a place where people from the past share their information through books so that we can use their information to navigate today and into the future.” “In my school, during the book week every student had to pick a book character and dress up like that character and during the day when you walk around the school, you have to carry that book with you, cover facing out so others can relate you to the book.” She told her people she hoped the government will stand by its decision to roll out Libraries in all schools in our country so that every child can truly be given an equal opportunity to learn as much as possible and effectively participate in the development of our country.
Manus centre expects 600 people
Post Courier 12 Sept, 2012
PAPUA New Guinea may take up to 600 asylum seekers into the Manus Detention Centre once all negotiations are complete. But already, an Australian team comprising Defence Force personnel and immigration officials are making their way to PNG to start work on setting up the asylum seeker processing facility on Manus Island. PNG Foreign officials and Immigration office told the Post-Courier yesterday that the agreement signed by Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato in Russia with Australia now paves way for the two countries to start working on the asylum centre. They said last night that the “nitty gritty of things”, the information on the money involved, the full number of asylum into Manus and all other benefits would be penned down when the next official meeting convened. They also confirmed that Australia had appointed the Salvation Army to help the asylum seekers with training and other programs.
Lawyer finds faults in asylum seekers deal
Post Courier 18 Sept.
A HUMAN rights lawyer has accused Papua New Guinea of being influenced by money to enter into an unlawful and inhuman deal with Australia to accept asylum seekers. Lawyer Paul Harricknen questioned the PNG Government’s motives in accepting these people. He said PNG could not rely on the Migration Act to allow asylum seekers into PNG because that legislation did not apply to them. If Australia has legislated to bring these people in, PNG should also legislate to accept them into the country, and any such legislation should fully comply with the provisions of the Constitution, he says. “What sense does it make for PNG to overlook and ignore the human rights of these desperate and vulnerable people? As it is, PNG has succumbed to the powerful influence of money to enter into an unlawful and inhumane deal,” Mr Harricknen said. “The governments of PNG and Australia recently signed an MOU in Russia to allow the boat people to be detained on Manus awaiting the processing of their refugee status. As we would expect from our 2003 experience, these people will comprise men, women and children. In 2003 there were 356 people: 232 adults and 124 children under 17 years of age. “It is a fact that Nauru and PNG are not the destinations of choice for these asylum seekers. These people want to go to Australia. The Australian Government will be forcefully taking them to Nauru and PNG. … There is no concern about the human rights of these people guaranteed under the Constitution.’’
What would become of PNG after LNG?
PNG Blogs 19 Sept
With an expected budget deficit of K500+ million for 2012 and the intent to borrow K6 billion from China, the O’Neil Government intends to steal more from future generations from the anticipated LNG benefits. The national debt from foreign and domestic lenders accrued over the last few decades already tips the scales at K9 billion. The K6 billion from Exim Bank will close to double the national debt overnight to a whopping K15 billion. Some of them are so-called “permanent funds,” born of the philosophy that benefits from a country’s nonrenewable resources belong to all future generations, not just to the generation that discovered them.
Today’s soft loans totalling K15 billion at 3% interest will result in total repayments of K50 billion in the next 40 years (principle + interest). In other words PNG will pay K50 billion over the next 40 years to service today’s soft loans hovering on or above K15 billion.
This is a terrifying scenario as K50 billion is the total anticipated revenue flow to the state during the life of the LNG Project over the next 40 years….zeroing out all the benefits from LNG.
Govt revenues questioned
Post Courier 13 Sept.
PAPUA New Guinea has experienced rapid increase in revenues over the last decade but this was coupled with massive funding gaps especially for critical service and infrastructure, according to an Australian academic. Director of Development Policy at the Australian National University (ANU), Professor Stephen Howes, made these remarks at the National Research Institute (NRI) in Port Moresby yesterday. PNG is confronting serious challenges in translating resource benefits from mineral booms into effective development outcomes and there is need for promoting effective public expenditure, he said. Some of the challenges highlighted by Prof Howes were needs on prioritising and filling funding gaps in priority areas such as education and health. He said the Government should give more priority to the recurrent than the development budget and more evidence on expenditure effectiveness was required. He said spending was on goods rather than salaries, with implementation aspects at the national rather than the provincial level. He said National departments had commanded about 90 percent of the total goods and services spending. Meanwhile, Minister for National Planning Charles Abel said the real problem on services not reaching the mass population was the delivery mechanism. He said there was too much involvement by bureaucrats seeking funds and using public funds while the people continued to miss out on basic services.
Shortage of funds hindering health services
The National, 13th September, 2012
HEALTH services throughout the country are deteriorating, yet more than 50% of the national budget is dedicated to capital developments, National Economic and Fiscal Commission chairman Nao Badu said. According to the World Health Organisation, PNG is third last of the health funding of member countries. Speaking at the Australian National University and National Research Institute’s budget forum yesterday, Badu said health services were stalling due to less increase of health funding per capita – less than 7% a year. The rate of the development budget for capital investments and other development was higher than the recurrent budget which covered basic services such as education, health, roads and infrastructure. Badu said the government was now focusing on new projects and has not injected funds to renovate old buildings in the hospitals, health centres and aid posts in the rural areas, where the majority of the population lived, and other infrastructure rehabilitations in the health sector. The health infrastructure would continue to deteriorate if the government continued to under-fund the sector.
10,000-odd subscribe to Haus Lain
The National, 18th September, 2012
MORE than 10,000 people have subscribed to Haus Lain, the first free national health SMS group in the country, in order to receive weekly tips on counselling, maternal health and sexually transmitted infections. Population Services International (PSI) Papua New Guinea country representative Cynde Robinson said Haus Lain built on the positive role that mobile phones played in the country. She said Haus Lain was launched last month and aimed to provide tips on how Papua New Guineans could keep their family healthy. “To date, health tips have addressed a wide range of issues from maternal health, preventing child and infant deaths from diarrhoeal disease and malaria, prevention of the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and helping married couples better communicate to maintain strong, healthy relationships,” she said. “Papua New Guineans can use the health tips to take action to protect the health of their families. “We’re very excited to see that so many Papua New Guineans have joined Haus Lain and look forward to developing more ways to use mobile technology to support them,” she said. Any Digicel mobile user in PNG can text the words, “Join OK” to 16321 to join the Haus Lain and receive free, weekly health tips.
Modilon hospital sets up bone fracture facility
The National, 18th September, 2012
MADANG’S Modilon General Hospital has established its first orthopaedic ward to cater for the increasing number of patients with broken bones. With the support of Cabrini sister hospital in Melbourne, Australia, the unit was established in early June but was not functional because it lacked equipment and staff. Last Monday, 12 staff were engaged to work under the leadership of Dr Jerry Kuzman and unit manager Sr Jenny Pitpit Pokaran. With visiting orthopaedic surgeon John Griffins and his team going to Modilon to conduct operations which started yesterday till Saturday, it was noted that most equipment was lacking. “We were privilege to have the ward open but have yet to install required life saving equipment,” Pokaran said. The 12 staff will attend to their first patients on Monday.
Message from Sir Julius Chan
Post Courier 19 Sept.
PAPUA New Guineans will continue to remain second-class citizens in their own land and vulnerable to all forms of social and economic injustices until the laws are changed so they become main beneficiaries of the resources they own on their land and in their seas. This is the powerful message that founding father and Chief Governor Sir Julius Chan gave to his people of New Ireland and Papua New Guinea as part of the 37th independence anniversary celebrations in his provincial capital Kavieng on Sunday. Sir Julius urged his people not to be fooled by the status quo, saying PNG is now at the cross-roads and it is incumbent on the people to take a stand by asserting their rights, claiming their birthright and working hard for a better future.
We are at a turning point in our history. Everywhere we look, we see huge developments taking place; huge mines, oil or LNG projects being implemented. The big boys say this is good for PNG; that our economy is growing faster than any other economy in the Pacific. But is this really true?” Sir Julius said he sees things differently. “The economy is growing but that growth is not leading to better lives for our people. We have huge gas, oil and mining projects but where is the money going? I call on all New Irelanders to stop thinking about today and the short term. … We need to start thinking about the future – 20, 50 and 100 years into the future.
Reduction of Infant mortality
Post Courier 19 Sept
Countries across the world are making rapid progress in reducing child deaths, demonstrating that it is possible to radically reduce child mortality over the span of two decades, a UNICEF report has stated. The 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed examines trends in child mortality estimates since 1990, and shows that major reductions have been made in under-five mortality rates in all regions and diverse countries. This has translated into a sharp drop in the estimated number of under-five deaths worldwide. “But there is also unfinished business: Millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.” “These lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care.
Antenatal care vital
By Tim Costello – first published by The Australian
THE maternal mortality rates and neonatal rates for PNG are decreasing and the global rates by UN are misleading according to Professor Glen Mola. The head of the Department for Obstetrics and Gyneacology at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences said neonatal rates of 55 per 1000 and maternal mortality rates of 733 per 100, 1000 for PNG is misleading. He said this at the second day of the medical symposium when presenting a paper on ‘Child Survival — The Need For A New Neonatal Focus.’ Professor Mola said that in PNG’s case, MMR is decreasing much slower than the rest of the world. Neonatal rates vary in provincial hospitals with 6-9 per 1000. Professor Mola said many countries in the world, including PNG, have made good progress towards achieving MDG4 (Child Survival) however, if the other goals are to be achieved, then the trajectory downwards needs to be accelerated. Evidence shows that the only way that most developing countries will achieve MDG4 is to improve on neonatal survival; this is because while survival after the first month of life has improved on target, neonatal lags behind. Neonatal deaths now take up more than 40 per cent of child deaths and 60 per cent of infant deaths in many developing countries including PNG.
Dr Lahui Geita – also speaking at the symposium – said there are a number of multiple factors that contribute to PNG’s high MMR with low rates of supervised deliveries being one of them. Supervised deliveries is one of the most effective interventions to reduce maternal mortality worldwide. The coverage and outcome of supervised deliveries itself can be outdone by a number of different factors such as early recognition of danger signs, timely decisions to seek care, access to appropriate care or health facility.
Maternal deaths high in remote villages
Post Courier 14 Sept
A YOUNG mother from Tsumba village in Madang’s Middle Ramu district is dead as a result of complications she experienced while trying to deliver her third child. Maternal deaths are said to be quite high and a common occurrence in this remote and isolated village that it has become “normal” according, to Harry Tine, a community leader from Tsumba. Mr Tine said the woman was due to give birth and with health services non-existent, the women-folk in her village would have assisted her under normal circumstances, as is usually the case. However, they were not able to do so this time because the baby was not positioned correctly inside this mother’s womb. Realising that the expectant mother would need help, her husband and several villagers, including Mr Tine, quickly built a makeshift stretcher, put her on it and carried her on their shoulders as they set out on a grueling journey to get help. Mr Tine said they walked at least three hours on foot to get to the Ramu River then travelled four hours by boat to get to the nearest facility at the Base Camp at Bogia. They arrived only to find out that the health worker in charge of the facility was not at work and was out gardening. After a three-hour wait for the health worker to finally show up, they discovered that the women’s situation had got worse as the baby’s arm had already surfaced from the birth canal and that she needed urgent help. The mother was moved onto a vehicle and rushed to Bogia Health Center but both the mother and the baby died soon after. “We did a U-Turn and returned the same day with both mother and baby. Such deaths have become common that it has become part of our everyday life.
Doctor: Too many mothers, babies dying
The National, 7th September, 2012
A DOCTOR says East New Britain is one of the provinces with the highest maternal and child mortality rates. Dr Tanmay Bagade, of St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital, said this had to be reduced through antenatal care. Although he was unable to provide statistics, he said women’s poor health associated with high blood pressure, anaemia and others could be detected through antenatal clinic. Bagade said that it was important for pregnant women in the province to consider antenatal care during pregnancy to reduce maternal and child mortality. “A strong woman means a strong nation, a healthy woman means a strong family,” he said.
More space for mums
The National, 7th September, 2012
AN East New Britain businesswoman has contributed K30,000 to help extend the Mother and Child Health Centre at the St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital in Kokopo. Tropicana Ltd general manager Sandra Lau said the extension would allow mothers more space and a comfortable area to sit while waiting to be seen. She said women should receive better services as they were the foundation of their families and played an active role in building the future of the nation. Statistics from the health centre showed that 300 women visited the clinic monthly for their first antenatal clinic on Mondays and Tuesday visits totalled 800 monthly. Nurses at the centre said the new extension would go a long way to serving many more mothers as it now provided more comfort. While thanking Lau for her financial assistance, the nurses called on the government to increase staffing at the hospital as work load was pretty heavy and it was expected to get heavier. They said the centre was badly in need of two more midwives, a family planning officer, two additional nurses and a health educator to help train students. They also called on the government to help improve other health centres in the province to help mothers.
Carterets families sign relocation deal
The National, 19th September 2012
EIGHTY-three families living in the Carterets Islands, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, have signed up to be relocated to the mainland, local non-governmental organisation director Ursula Rakova says. Rakova, who heads the Tulele Peisa, said the families had met the relocation guidelines in terms of vulnerability, willingness to relocate and participate with host community as well as the size of the family. Programme manager Basil Peso said intermarriage was one of the criteria for relocation. “There is emphasis on intermarriage because it binds and creates unity in inheriting and acquiring land,” Rakova said the Carterets had lost more than 20m of land to salt water invasion during king tides over the past 30 years. She said since 2009, five families had been relocated to Tinputz Catholic mission. She said although the church had gifted the land, the Tinputz community had been very welcoming towards their relocation process. “They consider the relocated Carteret islanders at Woroav as a village and not a settlement,” Rakova said. She thanked the church as well as the people of Tinputz for the 71ha of land, saying each family would receive a hectare each. She said the remaining land would be used to farm cocoa so that the community could sustain itself economically.
Police search for HIV trio
The National, 3rd September, 2012
POLICE in the highlands region are looking for three HIV-infected men who are allegedly among 37 others who deliberately infected two women in a gang-rape in Mul-Baiyer district, Western Highlands. Highlands Criminal Investigation Division officer-in-charge Madzuc Rubiang said two women had reported they were raped by 40 men and that three of them men were HIV-positive. [Why look for these 3 and not the 37 others! (ed.)]
Doctor: Stick to treatment guidelines
The National, 4th September 2012
MALARIA diagnosis in the Papua New Guinea must change from clinical to parasitical, an expert says. World Health Organisation technical officer Dr Rabindra Abeyasinghe said PNG must use the T3 method or test, treat and track initiative. “Nowhere in the world should people be treated without diagnosing parasitically,” Abeyasinghe said. He said nearly 90% of patients in the country visiting outpatient clinics today were prescribed anti-malaria drugs on suspicion rather than through tests. Abeyasinghe said clinics treated patients on suspicion because there was no proper equipment such as microscopes to diagnose parasitically through blood tests. He highlighted a case in the New Guinea Islands where 10 people were suspected of having malaria but only three tested positive. He said clinics were using anti-malaria drugs unnecessarily. “Unless the patient is critically ill with symptoms of malaria then it is justified. Otherwise it’s not,” he said. He said with microscopic or parasitical treatment the country would see a decline in the parasites. Abeyasinghe called on hospitals to stick to the malaria treatment guidelines. He said it was important for patients to complete treatment of Mala 1 or athamether lumefantrine. He said the athamether was a highly sensitive drug that reacted quickly to malaria parasites but if few parasites survived they were taken out by the lumefantrine drug.
Papua New Guinea’s future and Australia?
PNG blogs 4 Sept
On the flight over to Papua New Guinea last month, I realised that the patch of water below me carried with it a moral significance. At one shoreline, state-of-the-art healthcare for all; at the other end, complications at birth carry with them a death sentence. Papua New Guinea is our nearest neighbour, just a stone’s throw from our own coast, and yet the two nations sit 151 places apart on the Human Development Index. There is a profound challenge here.
While other countries are fast making ground to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – the world’s blueprint for tackling poverty – PNG is losing ground. About 50 per cent of children don’t attend primary school and there are only 0.6 health workers per 1000 people.
At one remote health clinic in Madang province, I met Sister Grace; a woman with a beautiful, shy demeanour. Not wanting to push her own needs, it took some time to draw out her story. Finally, she explained that she worked in that tiny outpost far away from her own family, without a doctor, desperately trying to serve the needs of a vast catchment area. She worked without electricity, delivering babies by torch light. The sacrifices she made to serve her community overwhelmed me. Not once did she complain, but in her eyes I sensed a determination. The sort of determination that says, “this isn’t good enough”.
Gun Violence a Growing Concern in PNG
By Catherine Wilson PNG Blogs 5 Sept
Gun violence is no stranger to the small Melanesian communities in this part of the world, which over the past quarter century have experienced the Bougainville independence struggle (1989–1998), civil war in the Solomon Islands (1999-2003), and four military coups in Fiji between 1987 and 2006. Papua New Guinean civilians possess the largest number of guns in Melanesia, with an estimated 72,000 or 1.2 guns per 100 people, while police and defence forces hold approximately 19,000 firearms. New Caledonia is second with up to 50,000 civilian-held guns. And in the Solomon Islands, since disarmament, during which 90 percent of firearms were surrendered, there are believed to be 1,775 privately owned guns, or 0.35 per 100 people.
Gun violence is a serious issue in Papua New Guinea. The capital, Port Moresby, with a population of 450,000, has a murder rate of approximately 54 per 100,000 people, compared to an average global rate of less than 7 per 100,000 people. And in the Southern Highlands, where an estimated 90 percent of firearms are illegally owned, 23 percent of households have been victimised by guns.
The Small Arms Survey, an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, concludes that crime is driven by the breakdown of traditional values, limited employment opportunities, inequality and disputes over resource ownership. Incentives for acquiring guns include self-defence and a sense of duty to defend tribal or clan interests. The majority of firearms used in conflicts and crime in Melanesia have been leaked or stolen from legal police and military sources
In 2005, Papua New Guinea’s Guns Control Committee produced a report which made numerous recommendations for gun reforms. But these have never been acted upon. Ultimately, reducing the quantities, circulation and misuse of guns in Melanesia also entails diminishing their demand through raising levels of development, socioeconomic equality and human security, and effectively tackling corruption.
Fake drugs sold widely in PNG
Post Courier 6 September
COUNTERFEIT drugs sold and circulated on the streets of Papua New Guinea are a real threat to patients. The scariest part is that these drugs which are below the International Pharmaecopeia Standards like antibiotics (such as amoxicillin) and antimalarials (amiodaquone) have found their way into hospitals or even at registered pharmacies. Counterfeiting can apply to both branded and generic products and counterfeit products may include products with the correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient active ingredients or with fake packaging.” Separate studies by students from the University of Papua New Guinea School of Medicine and Health Sciences showed counterfeit drugs are being sold in large quantities. There is ongoing research at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences which highlights the seriousness of poor-quality drugs. As a result of the studies, calls have been made to authorities to urgently monitor all imported drugs.
Prevention of blindness committee launched
The National, 6th September, 2012
EYE care in Papua New Guinea received a shot in the arm with the launching of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee (NPBLC) in Port Moresby yesterday. Speaking at the launch, chairperson of the committee Dr Jambi Garap said: “The eye is not an isolated organ. Impairment of vision affects people’s quality of life and opportunities to work and employment, and also contributes to poverty.” She said eye care stakeholders from both the government and non-governmental organisations would work together under the NPBLC to address the major barriers to eye care services, which included disease control, human resources and infrastructure. WHO standard is one doctor for every 100,000 patients. However, in PNG the doctor-patient ratio is 1:500,000. For a population of about seven million, PNG has only 18 ophthalmologists, out of which only 14 are practising.
Educate people to stop chewing buai
The National, 12th September, 2012
A FORMER CEO of the Tari Hospital recently declared that tuberculosis (TB) is spreading rapidly and that it would be disastrous for PNG. Dr Bravy Koensong said TB was preventable and blamed the health sector and stakeholders for not doing enough. He said people were dying and the government would now have to spend more money to buy powerful drugs for treatment. While I commend him for highlighting this, I am surprised Dr Koensong did not highlight that TB was spreading because of the buai habit among Papua New Guineans. Buai chewers spit anywhere they please and if they suffer from TB, they also spread the disease through their spittle. So much has been said about the dangers and unsightly consequences of this habit. Unfortunately, the people choose to ignore it and continue to chew and spit as they please… Our health authorities should take a good, hard look at the issue and come up with appropriate laws.
Anti-buai Port Moresby
Post Courier 13 Sept.
THE Government of PNG has been tasked to seriously address torture and inhuman treatment of its people. In a two-day meeting conducted by Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council in Port Moresby yesterday, key stakeholders have been challenged to discuss findings and recommendations of a 2010 human rights report conducted by independent investigator Manfred Novak, and how the recommendations and findings can be appropriated and effectively implemented. The reports states severe beatings of by police as form of punishment. Impunity for torture and ill-treatment is fueled by the lack of effective complaint mechanisms, independent investigations, monitoring or similar safeguards. The special rapporteur found a general atmosphere of violence and neglect in places of detention and overcrowding and filthy cells. The report also stated that police juvenile and policy protocol are not applied. In detention, women are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse from police officers. Divisional Commander for Highlands and Assistant Commissioner of Police Teddy Tei said police have come down hard on some officers involved such as arresting, charging or dismissed them from work. He suggested avenues or channels such as police investigative units or Ombudsman Commission where people should seek assistance if they fall to police mistreatment. Some stakeholders suggested positive changes have been made and these are areas where gender sensitising and gender-based program have been introduced to RPNGC and the Correction Services.
Drive message on HIV/AIDS to impact Communities
The National, 13th September, 2012
GREATER HIV/AIDS awareness is needed to educate coastal pipeline and impacted communities along the Basamuk nickel mine processing plant in Rai-coast, Madang, Ken Mulou says. “The impact of the Ramu NiCo project, coupled with the influx of people and movement positions most communities in a risky situation requires greater awareness to educate people,” Mulou, the landowner company liaison officer, said. Mulou said the company was prepared to help and called for community support, a change of mentality and behaviour so people could take ownership and fight against the epidemic. “Responsibility to take care of individual and family lives rests on ourselves and the landowner company is prepared to strengthen and amplify community initiatives with materials to help use available HIV/AIDS programmes to ensure people are educated with cross-cutting issues,” Mulou said.
We need to be mindful of foreign influence and be rational rather than emotional in our decisions,” Pariwe said. “Sports unite, attract and create opportunities to prosper. It attracts sexual desire and emotions that we need to control and play it safe because HIV/AIDS is a human issue and human life is a crucial gift and precious.”
Kandep Students worry
Post Courier 14 Sept
FORTY lives have so far been lost and the Murip wheat project worth more than K3 million was burnt down to ashes among many villages destroyed in the current tribal war in Kandep, Enga province. Over 100 people have been wounded and thousands homeless. Women are being raped and the disabled are forced into burning fires, and children are being killed. Kandep High School, the only high school in the district, and other primary and elementary education institutions and health services have been closed and are no longer in operation. District service providers and business houses have fled in fear of losing their lives and businesses. But no one is taking the initiative to stop the fight and the whole Kandep District is under serious threat. Lives are not the same anymore. Concerned Kandep students from the University of Papua New Guinea and working class living in Port Moresby in a joint media statement yesterday pleaded to responsible politicians and leaders to stop the bloodshed immediately.
The Kandep students gathered at UPNG yesterday and pledged they unity, stand united. They strongly called on the leaders in the province and the electorate to immediately do something about stopping the fight. The students said that they are demanding the politicians because it is an election related tribal fight.
Social indicators poor despite ecomonic growth
Letters Post Courier 10 Sept
DESPITE positive economic growth rates over the last decade, PNG’s social indicators are among the worst in the Asia Pacific. The majority of PNG’s mainly rural population remain poor and an estimated 18 per cent are extremely poor. Poverty, unemployment and poor governance contribute to serious law and order problems. Improving the lives of poor people and promoting stability is claimed to be the central part of the government‘s interest but the tangible signs of that are very far from being realized. It should aggressively pursue: Eradicate Poverty: Around 40% of PNG’s population lives in poverty and 85% of the population live in rural or remote areas with inadequate access to health care and employment. Increase Education Participation: estimated that half the adult population cannot read and over 500,000 kids aged 6-12 do not go to school. Improve Health: Nearly 7% of kids do not live past their 5th birthday, the life expectancy for men in PNG is only 53 years, females it’s 54 years, people continue to die of preventable causes. The people are tired of MPs paying lip service, Derrick Nagul
Aussie Premier praises PNG women in Parliament
Post Courier, Sept 10, 2012
THE steady and successful rise of Papua New Guinea’s three new women Members of Parliament has drawn praise from the Premier of Tasmania, Hon. Lara Giddings. Giddings was the youngest woman ever to be elected into Australia’s Parliament at the age of 23 in 1999. However her interest in PNG politics and especially the three women MPs is because she has a much deeper connection to PNG. Giddings was born and raised in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province where she spent much of her childhood. She has been following PNG’s recent elections with much interest and praised Loujaya Toni, Dellilah Pueka Gore and Julie Soso on their win.
In an interview with the Western Independent, Premier Giddings said: “As a woman born in the Eastern Highlands of PNG, and as a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, I have watched with pride the recent PNG elections where a record number of women have been elected to Parliament, including Julie Soso now Governor of the Eastern Highlands. Considering much of PNG society, especially the Highlands, operates under patriarchal structures, this is a huge achievement.” “Ideally, Parliaments should reflect the make-up of their communities and with women consisting of almost half of the population in PNG, it is important women are represented in this important democratic institution,” Premier Giddings said.
Chinese doctors visit hospital to give assistance
The National, 12th September, 2012
FOUR doctors from the Chinese province of Guangdong are in Port Moresby to provide assistance and expertise at the Port Moresby General Hospital. The doctors are obstetrician/gynaecologist Dr Wang Zi Lian, rheumatologist (arthritis and joints diseases) Dr Lian Fan, paediatrician Dr Jiang Xiao Yun and endocrinologist (diabetes and hormones) Dr Li Yan Bin. They arrived yesterday from Guangdong where they practice medicine in one of China’s best hospitals, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University. Health Minister Michael Malabag, who met the doctors on arrival, said the long-lasting bilateral relations between the Chinese and PNG governments had led to much-needed assistance such as this medical team to PNG. Malabag said he hoped the short visit by the doctors would shed light on addressing some of PNG’s health issues such as procurement of anti-malarial and anti-AIDS drugs and to treat curable diseases. Speaking through a translator, Wang said the team came not only with expertise but with friendship. He said he understood that although they would not be in Port Moresby for a long time, this was the beginning of a medical relationship. He invited PNG medical practitioners to visit Guangdong, which has more than 150,000 medical centres.
What Now After Royal Visit?
Solomon Times, Sept 21st
What an insane few days it’s been with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge coming to the Solomon Islands. For two days the streets were jam-packed with people and cars, wherever Prince William and Kate walked people would run alongside with a breathless excitement. And suddenly they were gone along with the 70-plus international media that came in their wake and its life as usual in Honiara. The pages of the local newspaper – once full of photos of Prince William and Kate talking to smiling people – have been replaced with the usual. The Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, must be wishing for the return of the royal couple. There is a story about his trip to the United Nations meeting in New York – where he is leading a team of 16 people including his wife, executive secretary and a number of political appointments. Quite rightly there is outrage over how one of the poorest countries in the Pacific can afford to send 16 people to a UN meeting. The simple answer is it can’t. The rather weak response is the big team needs to go to build on the Rio Plus 20 summit, to push for nomination for some UN bodies and to promote gender equality. That’s nice. Maybe two people could do that. You see, here’s the thing. The Prince William and Kate tour was amazing – it really was. The Solomons did a great job hosting them and will hopefully benefit in tourism dollars. But life goes on. Unemployment is incredibly high with a ballooning youth population, there’s weak governance and low levels of investment. Politicians can’t ride on that royal wave of success now, it’s over. The tide has gone out and it’s time to do the job the people elected them to do
Maiden Speech by Opposition
Facebook, Sept 9, 2012
Sam Basil MP
The speech being delivered from the floor of Parliament on the 4th of September, parts of it will be removed from HANSARD because it contains the NPF Issue – Says the Honorable Speaker of the 9th Parliament.
[The following is a section from the speech – (ed.).] 4.0 Fight against Corruption
Mr Speaker, it is good to hear the Honourable Prime Minister declare his determination to weed and stamp out corruption in our country with the introduction of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). …
On ICAC, the Opposition would like to buy into something that is genuine and not a window-dresser. We want something that is feasible and can stand the test of political pressures. ICAC must be punitive to wrong-doers and send signals that there is no escape for white-collar criminals posing as leaders.
We must stop issues like the daylight robbery of members superannuation savings like that exposed in the NPF inquiry, the abuse of members’ fund in the (then POSF) purchase and head-lease arrangement of The Cairns Conservatory and Malagan House in Brisbane.
We must stop issues like the Julian Moti affair where decisions from the Office of a Prime Minister resulted in breaking of a multitude of laws – domestic and international – which is likely to reincarnate and devour funds which are needed to save and improve the lives of our people.
We must stop issues of international embarrassment like the stealing of state funds from the Taiwanese government in pretense of diplomatic recognition knowing very well that PNG – was one of the first nations to recognize and maintains a “One China Policy” recognition of the mainland Peoples Republic of China.
We must stop political engineering of clashes between the executive, judiciary and parliamentary arms of government;
We must stop political engineering of divisions within our disciplined forces nationally and/or setting them up against each other;
We must stop renting crowds and inciting riots to achieve our political ends with a view that the “end justifies the means”.
If we are honest, there will be a lot of confessions in relation to these gestures. We all know that to date, no one has been successfully prosecuted and put behind bars for many of these offenses which are criminal in nature.
Mr Speaker, Corruption – and the fight against it advocated by so many of us must translate into practical action. We must rise up – even beyond ourselves – we must rise up against it, and fight to completely eradicate it.