levels of child violence in Pacific, says new report
– A report has detailed shocking levels of physical violence and neglect
towards millions of Pacific Islands children, sparking calls for better-targeted
aid programs from countries like New Zealand and Australia. The report team, from
combined aid agencies, investigated child-rearing practices in seven Pacific
countries, as well as Timor-Leste. The report found as many as four million
children experience violence at home across the Pacific – a staggering 2.8
million in Papua New Guinea alone.
More than half of all
sexual violence referred to medical clinics involves children in PNG, where
almost one in three parents report beating children “as hard as they can”. The
research also outlines a range of factors that contribute to the abuse,
including Pacific societies with high levels of gender inequality; social
acceptance of physical punishment of children, weak governance, and growing
poverty and inequality.
The report’s authors said
the research shows the critical lack of overseas aid invested in programs aimed
at ending violence against children, and programs by countries like New Zealand
and Australia need to be more targeted.
Carsten Bockemuehl, World
Vision’s advocacy campaigns lead for the Pacific, said violence against
children will make societies less prosperous and will exacerbate risks to
health and criminal justice systems and that there needed to be a “rebalancing”
of aid priorities in the Pacific.
“It’s actually an economic
issue, it makes countries poorer, so that’s why, out of the many competing
priorities in developing countries, we just advocate for violence to be
recognised as a critical development issue.”
Hefty fine, jail for abusers
August 7, 2019The
committing violence against children will be fined up to K5,000 or jailed up to
two years or both under the Lukautim Pikinini Act, says Community Development,
Youth and Religion Minister Wake Goi. He made the statement following reports
of recent child abuses in Port Moresby.
Three children were beaten and locked up in the cell two weeks ago at Boroko
and last week, four children were stripped, beaten and poured paint on after
they were allegedly caught doing graffiti.
And recently at Gordon bus station, a grade eight student in school uniform was
allegedly beaten by police officers. Samuel Kolas, 18, a grade 8 student at the
Wardstrip Primary School, was allegedly beaten by three policemen while he was
waiting for a bus. Goi said that these reports spoke volumes of negligence,
abuse and violence perpetrated against children.
Under the Lukautim Pikinini Act section 78, for all forms of violence other
than sexual violence the penalty is K5,000 fine or imprisonment not exceeding
two years or both,” she said. “The perpetrators must be arrested and charged
under the Lukautim Pikinini Act.”
Bishop slams forms of violence
August 12, 2019The
THE head bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea Dr Jack Urame has condemned physical violence and other forms of violence against children in Papua New Guinea, adding that this is a serious issue and a sign of the breakdown of family and societal values.
He was referring to a new report on child protection crisis in the Pacific released at the United Nations High-level Political Forum in New York last month.
The Unseen and Unsafe: Underinvestment in Ending Violence Against Children in the Pacific and Timor-Leste report shows that over 70 per cent or four million children across eight countries experience violent discipline at home, including a staggering 2.8 million (75 per cent of the child population) in PNG. The report details, for the first time, the shocking levels of physical, emotional and sexual violence, as well as neglect faced by children living in the Pacific and Timor-Leste.
“If the report is true about our country, then it does not reflect well on our society, a so-called Christian country,” Urame told The National. “We will face a lot of problems in the future because we are not helping the children, who are the very future of this nation.
“I appeal to mothers and fathers to be responsible for their children.
“We must change our attitudes when caring for our children.”
He called on all churches in the country to speak out on the issue.
“The church condemns and does not tolerate all forms of violence and abuse towards children. We must all work together now to ensure our children are given the rightful and proper care they deserve.”
PNG: Look to agriculture not minerals to strengthen economy
https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2019/08/png-should-look-to-agriculture-not-minerals-to-strengthen-economy.html#more 02 August 2019
LONDON, UK – Papua New Guinea should look to agriculture to strengthen
growth as the economy recovers from a series of external shocks, the World Bank
has said. Structural transformation was needed in the country to bring about
the inclusive and sustainable development that would enable its economy to
become more resilient, the bank suggested in a report. Real GDP growth in Papua
New Guinea dropped gradually from 13.5% in 2014 to -0.5% in 2018. During this time
there was a commodity price shock, a particularly warm El Niño climate cycle
and a 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hampered the economy, the World Bank
pointed out in the report, released on Friday last week.
But now, real GDP growth is forecast to be about 5.6% in 2019, and hover
at just over 3% in 2020-21 – a recovery mainly observed in the resource sector,
dominated by liquefied natural gas. Ilyas Sarsenov, World Bank senior country
economist for Papua New Guinea, said: “PNG’s growth outlook remains positive
but fragile due to rising economic uncertainties ranging from the domestic
political economy to the recent escalation of trade tensions between the United
States and China. “To mitigate downside risks to the outlook and better weather
external shocks, it is recommended that PNG authorities adjust macroeconomic
policy and focus on structural transformation of the economy, especially in
agriculture as a potential economic driver for more diversified and inclusive
development.” About 87% of the country’s population live in rural areas, with
three quarters of them involved in subsistence and cash income agriculture –
including fresh foods, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, copra and copra oil.
New Zealand – Pacific island leaders insist climate change, not China, will top
the agenda when they meet in Tuvalu this month as western-aligned nations push
to curb Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Once regarded as a sleepy
backwater of the diplomatic world, the islands are now a hotbed of aid projects
and charm offensives as anxiety over China’s presence grows. Australia has
labelled its campaign the Pacific Step-Up, New Zealand has the Pacific Reset,
and Britain the Pacific Uplift, while the United States, Japan, and France have
also intensified their efforts to court the region. But local leaders attending
the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Tuvalu from August 13 to 16 are wary their
concerns will be sidelined if they become pawns in a wider power struggle. The
16-member forum mainly consists of small island nations, along with Papua New
Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. PIF secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor said
the forum, whose members collectively refer to themselves as the Blue Pacific,
was at a pivotal moment in its history.”While we are the subject of the
geopolitical maneuvering and strategies of others, the Blue Pacific collective
remains focused on charting our own destiny,” she said.
The primary concern for
island leaders – many of whom live in low-lying nations threatened by rising
seas – is climate change
PNG needs to depreciate
exchange rate, academic says
August 12, 2019The
Papua New Guinea’s economy showed signs of recovery last year but it has not been sustained this year, according to survey results presented at the 2019 Update PNG Forum in Port Moresby last week. Australian National University director of development policy centre Stephen Howes told the forum PNG needed to depreciate its exchange rate.
Howes said PNG was the 10th most resource-intensive economy in the world, reliant on petroleum, oil, gas, coal and minerals, the Saudi Arabia of the Pacific.
“In order to recover after the boom, PNG needs to depreciate its exchange rate.
“Until it does that, PNG is going to suffer from foreign exchange shortages and that will drag on growth. “The rising salary bill, rising interest burden and revenue is flat which makes fiscal adjustments and management difficult. “The Government cannot pay bills because it has to pay salaries and interest obligations. State-owned entities debt and some of the guarantees were adding to the fiscal stress.”
phones have seen rapid rise in off-grid solar in PNG
— The use of off-grid solar products has skyrocketed over the past five years
in Papua New Guinea, with 60% of households now using solar lighting — up
sharply from just 2% in 2012, according to a new report by the International
Finance Corporation. As a result, PNG now has one of the highest rates of use of
off-grid solar lighting in the developing world, according to the report ‘Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting
Market Dynamics in PNG’. Part of this is due to the fact that 87%
of the population — or 7.2 million people — are not connected to the
electricity grid. But the increased use of mobile technology has also played a
major role. The report showed the transition happened at a time when mobile
phone penetration was growing rapidly, but the means to charge phones was
lagging. Off-grid solar products on the PNG market now include generic battery
powered torches and lanterns, as well as IFC quality-verified off-grid solar
products — with many providing the ability to charge a phone. “This is because people need the energy to
charge their mobiles, and there is also an attempt by mobile companies to
launch initiatives for mobile charging. It is important to remember that the
revenues of mobile companies are directly related to handsets being charged.”
Sori: Teachers having sexual
relationship to be terminated
August 13, 2019The
Article Views: 1
TEACHERS who abuse their position of trust and have sexual relationships with female students will be terminated, Teachers Service Commissioner Baran Sori says. Sori told The National that teachers engaged in sexual relationships with their students was not just a serious offence but also criminal in nature. He made this statement after three male secondary high school teachers in New Ireland were terminated for having sexual relationships with their students. “The three teachers were charged with the offence by a senior provincial school inspector after complaints were raised and the matter was referred to the provincial education board, who recommended their immediate dismissal,” Sori said.
‘Condom’ cops jailed
August 15, 2019The
TWO police officers were jailed 18 months by the Waigani National Court yesterday for forcing a woman to chew and swallow three condoms in 2015. Justice Panuel Mogish also ordered Joshua Yawijah and Jacklyn Tanda to be dismissed from the force. “Police officers are supposed to uphold human rights, not abuse their powers,” he said. Yawijah and Tanda, both probationary police officers, recorded a video of the woman’s ordeal of chewing and swallowing the condoms and posted the it on the Internet.
“You did not formally arrest and charge the complainant for an offence, but instead you forced her to eat and swallow the condoms,” he told the duo.
Yawijah, 25, from Pangia, Southern Highlands has two children and Tanda, 26, from Wabag, Enga, has a three-month-old baby. “Before you commit a crime, always think about your family.”
University will fix doctor shortage: Minister
August 15, 2019The
HEALTH Minister Elias
Kapavore said the issue of shortage of doctors in the country could only be
addressed with a standalone medical university and the training of medical
students at other major institutions. Kapavore said given the current ratio of
one doctor for every 20,000 people, the Government was trying to address the
shortage of doctors in the country and had taken several measures. He had
instructed the new Medical Board of PNG with the support of two Australian
medical professors to visit the Divine Word University next month to assess the
curriculum and its facilities related to the teaching of medicine. Kapavore
said while the DWU medical programme had its critics, the curriculum and
training offered at Madang institution the two professors would be able to give
him a clear understanding what the school needed to produce qualified and
quality graduates. He said based on their report, a review of the curriculum
would be done if needed to ensure the changes were made in order for DWU to
graduate its first doctors in 2021 which he said would double the number of
Marape govt begins to address PNG’s grim cancer battle
23 August 2019
PORT MORESBY – We are all susceptible to cancer regardless
of age, sex, race, health and socioeconomic situation. Cancer strikes
indiscriminately. It takes alike the old and young, weak and robust,
eliminating a former common misconception- one of many myths of cancer – that
it is mainly an ailment consigned to the older age bracket.
Unlike death and its
inevitability, cancer can be fatal, but is also avoidable and treatable, given
the right drugs and equipment. And it can be curable as well if diagnosed and
treated at the earliest stage. I was privileged to speak to the late Dr John
Niblett about this in July 2013. At the time this great and selfless man was
director of the Angau Memorial Hospital’s cancer treatment centre.
Dr Niblett (God rest his
soul) died on 4 July 2017 – an especially tragic passing given his cruel
expulsion from the treatment centre by an ingrate National Department of Health
and the Health Minister at the time. In light of the Marape government’s recent
announcement of a sizable capital injection of K60 million into the country’s
two top hospitals to ensure cancer treatment will be available next year, I am
prompted to revisit my enlightening conversation with the late Dr Niblett.
Then a leading cancer
specialist and the only resident radiation oncologist in PNG, Dr Niblett said
given the underdeveloped, underfunded, understaffed and under-informed cancer
response by the health department, early detection was the only hope anyone
afflicted by cancer had to be given a fighting chance to survive. Back in 2013,
the statistics painted an almost hopeless picture of the cancer situation in
the country. Of an estimated 2,000 cancer cases each year, an average of 400
were detected and referred to the cancer centre for treatment management. This
was a mere 40% compared to the outstanding 60% of undetected cases, implying
that some 1,200 unfortunate people suffered in what can only be described as
dreadful circumstances without treatment and without hope.
26 August 2019
Peace in the valley – and it all started in the home
BRAD WATSON | Adventist
Record | Edited
– The air is filled with smoke rising languidly above mounds of black ash.
Women and children hide in the forest, terrified of those who have stripped
their fields and herded away their pigs.
In the distance, a
decrepit school stands idly, empty of laughter or the sounds of teachers
scolding students. A small church, recently filled with sounds of song and
praise, is the only building that is untouched. Over a ridge, a widow watches a
sweet potato roasting on a bed of glowing ash. She is worried. Her hands
tremble. Recently a man in her clan died after a long illness. Some of the
relatives are saying she is responsible.
They huddle together and
whisper. A witch, one says. A sorcerer, says another. A Dracula. For that is
the new word they use for the likes of her. She has done nothing but fears what
will happen when the relatives of the deceased man return to her house.
She is still grieving, for
her own husband died two years earlier, and a daughter died recently in
childbirth. It was too dangerous to go to the hospital.
This was the recent, harsh
reality of life for the 3,000 people of the Guna-Goreku tribe in Papua New
Guinea’s rugged and beautiful Simbu Province. According to Benjamin Kola and
his wife, Agnes, few Guna-Goreku people had gone to school because of constant
fighting for more than 25 years. [See the above url for the full article]
Progress may be inevitable but human dignity should prevail
MORESBY – The fate of about 100 families residing in 64 units of National
Housing Commission flats at Gordon in Port Moresby hangs in precarious balance
as they face eviction from their homes of 20-30 years by a private property
The matter is the subject
of a bitter and protracted legal battle that has taken up the better part of
the last 12 years and is still awaiting a final court decision.
But the political
leadership of the National Capital District (NCD) must be lauded, and loudly,
for standing up for the families who are agitated and distressed about the
future. Governor Powes Parkop and the MPs of Moresby South and North-East have
made considerable efforts to address the adverse effects of physical
developments on affected communities in and around the city.
Moresby North-East MP John
Kaupa recently told the affected Gordon families that, if an eviction is
compelled to happen by law, it will take place, but that it is incumbent upon
leaders to ensure it occurs in a just, orderly and humane manner.
Essentially, the MP
captured and amplified the collective view of local political leaders led by Governor
In the last two years
alone, there have been a number of NCD-sanctioned relocation of entire
communities displaced by commercial developments.
A human rights lawyer
prior to taking up politics, Governor Parkop consistently champions the cause
of powerless people caught in the aggressive cross currents of progress and
development. That is certainly the sentiment of Francis Irai, an elderly man of
about 70, living with his family in a makeshift home constructed of rusted
metal sheet walls and canvas for a roof. The squalor in which the family is
living is shocking and degrading, but the family has no place else and the
future is devoid of hope as far as Mr Irai can see, which unfortunately is not
too far as he is losing his sight. They are victims of progress taking the form
of a brand new four-lane road linking Gerehu and 9 Mile, purportedly to reduce
the traffic congestion on the nearby main highway.
Irai is now a broken man
without a job, without a home and without hope. He sought me out to air his
story in his firm belief that Governor Parkop will heed his plea.
admission of health system failure 10 years overdue
14 August 2019. . https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2019/08/kases-admission-of-health-system-failure-10-years-overdue.html#more
SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My
– For the last five years, I have been repeating the same story: ‘We have a
crisis in the health system.’The rest of the country can see
it. The people who are victims of the medicine shortages all over the country
keep speaking out about it. Health workers have cried while being interviewed
because they simply can’t save lives. And we’re not talking about the expensive
cancer treatment and operations families have to pay for.
It’s the basics that are
lacking. Antibiotics, malaria drugs, family planning drugs and consumables. The
clinics don’t have them. Or even if they have them, the supplies are not enough
for their catchment areas. Personally, I have emailed the health secretary,
Pascoe Kase, about the cancer unit in Lae, the ill-treatment of the late Dr
John Niblet and the medicine shortages. I have called and sent text messages. No
I found that the only
way get the (former) government’s attention was to produce a series of
live videos on Facebook berating the health minister and the ‘higher ups’ until
the issue got discussed on the floor of parliament. It took a change of
government before health workers truly felt free to openly discuss the medicine
shortages. When the new PM, James Marape, travelled to Lae on his second
visit, he came with health minister Elias Kapavore and secretary Kase. We put
the question of medicine shortages to him yet again. The health secretary was
indeed quick to defend saying the medicine shortage was a “broad” assumption
and that the problem was with the area medical stores.He went on further to
state that a lot of the blame lay with staff at the clinics.
I said: “You have to go to
the clinics and talk to staff because the information you are giving me here is
wrong.” (I have the video). It turned into a tense exchange which
we later had to cut short. After more than five years, secretary Kase is now
‘admitting’ that there are problems. I could say better late than
never. But…no. We wanted that admission earlier. We wanted an
acknowledgment of the problem and it is almost 10 years overdue. Senior doctors
like Sam Yokopua, Ludwig Nanawar and Alex Peawi have all threatened to resign
over the unresolved problems that continue to hurt their patients.
PLUS ÇA CHANGE, PLUS C’EST
LA MÊME CHOSE
I liked the last sentence
of Scott’s article. Luckily in my sojourn in PNG I didn’t spend too long living
in the capital but the few years remain etched in my memory-bank.
I can still the recall the
delightful appearance of the Waigani public servants and ministerial
bag-carriers or ‘gofers’.
They looked quite sharp in
their nice clothes complete with an air of officialdom that impressed the
peasants who sought answers in shabby government offices or when these so
called public servants accompanied their ministerial masters often helicoptered
into the sweaty backwaters of the nation and thus avoiding nasty spray from a
dinghy trip or inhaling the road dust and pothole bumps along neglected mud
Having been a mostly rural
inhabitant for my 32 years in PNG I had witnessed the terrible shortcoming of
the Health Department at first hand:
The lovely dental building
at Taskul with no electricity connection and the second-hand dental chair which
would send you somersaulting backwards onto floor as it had a damaged rear
support. Two officers stationed there to carry out 19th century extractions.
Daughter with cut finger
arrived at 1610 so no treatment until next day.
Never ending lack of
correct tablets so aspirin for malaria.
On and on it goes with the
poor old aidposts having rundown buildings with even less medial necessities.
Not even a water supply for some as collecting gutters broken or tank rusted
Reports in PNG media now
in my health file continue to grow and every year appear articles on the
failure of the health ministers and their secretaries to solve the greatest
problem of drug supply in their fiefdom.
011203 Medical drugs run
out in NG Islands region:
INTRAVENOUS fluid, an
essential medical drug, is reportedly running short in the New Guinea Islands
Region. Saint Mary’s Vunapope Hospital paediatrician Dr Pomat told of one
patient, who was very sick and needed IV treatment but hospital staff could not
administer IV because they did not have the fluid in stock and the patient
died. “It is a crisis situation. We are out of intravenous fluids,” Dr Pomat
020624 THE Port Moresby
General Hospital is critically short of drugs There are no anaesthetic drugs
and laboratory reagents.
020102 Goroka needs
steriliser to fight typhoid epidemic
040114 Cancer, silent killer
-UP to 10,000 Papua New Guineans die every year as a result of cancer
060721 Moresby hospital
runs out of drugs
080608 2nd hand cancer
machine that Lae hospital bought in 1979 eventually gave up ghost in 1999
081212 Tari hospital runs
out of drugs
081231 In dire straits
POMGH forced to accept donations to stay in business
090107 Babies miss out as
drugs run out at Well Baby Clinic in POM
091016 Drug supply short
at urban clinics
100223 Drug shortage in
Lae clinics for newborn babies
100520 Last three months
before ART drug supply ceases
119221 The acute shortage
of basic medical drugs in rural aid posts in Madang and Karkar is now into its
second month as the province’s medical store and supplier remains closed.
110722 Drugs shortage
kills nine in Kandrian
111107 A$1.4 million given
to pursue snake-bites study
110130 Papua New Guinea
Health Report – The worst state of health in the Pacific region
120217 No immunisation
vaccines for babies in Lae
120412 Nonga Base hospital
short on oxygen supplies
120418 Wewak General
Hospital is sending away patients seeking X-rays because its machine is not
131201 Internal DFAT
documents identify Borneo Pacific as PNG’s largest provider of drugs from
manufacturer North China Pharmaceutical Group, a known offender in China’s fake
140109 Health is PNG
Government’s priority says Sir Puke Temu Minister for Public service
140115 Central Supply
& Tenders Board backs NEC award to Borneo because it is not a manufacturer
and did not require the ISO 9001 accreditation
140522 Burst pipes rats
taint Modilon, Madang hospital food
140605 Medical kits here
next week from Borneo Pharmaceutical Company in Indonesia
140722 Hospitals receive
300 second hand beds from John Hunter Hospital in OZ
150331 Shortage of BCG
vaccine for babies at POM G Hospital is unacceptable
151106 PM seems to be
deluded when he says ‘no drug shortages in PNG hospitals’
160413 Critical drug
shortage at POM G Hospital for six months
160415 ‘Hospitals not
short of drugs’ says Secty. Pascoe Kase
160517 Laloki short of
vital mental drug Olanzepine
160623 K50 Millions owed
to suppliers and distributors of medical drugs acknowledged by health Minister
Michael Malabag & his Secty. P Kase
160926 Hospitals lack
170103 Nogat marasin
170315 Lack Of Anti Venom
In PNG A Concern at www. news.pngfacts.com
170320 Shortage of pap
smear tests because of lack of pathologists
170412 Half a million
funding for drugs not enough for 6 months
170609 Drugs crisis being
fixed says Secty. Kase
170808 K15,000 anti-venom
fee will cause deaths says Dr Sam Yockopua
180222 Medicines running
out as supplies stuck without distributor as Sir Puke dithers
180525 Sir Puke Tuma
Health minister NOW admits medicine, needles, gauze, cotton often run out
181031 Oro Clinic serving
2000 people: No antibiotics, no painkillers or other basic supplies such as
gauze, gloves and adhesives.
190319 Ways sought to
improve supply of medicine says Sir Puka Temu
These mere headlines tell
a sad tale of political neglect either from idiots, uncaring or corrupt elites
who turn up to work in their nice clothes but often disdaining to answer the
pleas of the masses crying out for a decent health system throughout the
We are all aware how the
top lot somehow afford trips to overseas hospitals or at the very at least
access private medical care.
Sadly May 2019’s misnamed
‘change of government’ saw O’Neills recent supporters who had just publicly
railed against him happily coalescing into almost the same political swamp
Nothing new under the sun
in politics: ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’
If you’re pregnant, very
unwell, suffering from cancer, TB or with mental illness don’t hold your breath
waiting to see improvements in your rural health facility.
Arthur Williams | 14 August 2019 at 09:48 PM