30 Apr 2007

Malaria mosquitoes on increase in PNG's Highlands due to climate change, says hospital CEO

7:44 pm on 30 April 2007

The Chief Executive Officer of Goroka Hospital in Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands province says malaria outbreaks in the area have increased in recent years because of climate change.

Joseph Apa says the hospital has sent a medical team to the Lufa area to help treat those affected by a malaria outbreak which has claimed at least 10 lives and seen around 600 hospitalised for treatment.

Health officials have suggested that the outbreak may have been caused due to the continuous rain in the region since last month.

Mr Apa says malaria outbreaks hardly used to occur in the Highlands due to the altitude...

"But these days in the last five to fifteen years, the climate has changed and it's getting warmer up here in the Highlands and we are now experiencing mosquitos breeding in the Highlands and transmitting malaria particides. So we could say that global warming has contributed to this climate change in the Highlands and hence the malaria outbreak in the Highlands."

Joseph Apa from Goroka hospital.