9 Mar 2009

PNG AIDS Council needs strong leadership, says Transparency Int'l

8:40 pm on 9 March 2009

The anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, in Papua New Guinea is calling for greater investment into the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The former health minister and chair of the National AIDS Council, Sir Peter Barter, is accusing the country's AIDS council of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

Sir Peter says it has also left more than two million Australian donated condoms to expire in a warehouse for more than 18 months without distributing them to the community.

Transparency's chair, Peter Aitsi, says the council needs strong leadership given the country's high infection rate.

"Sir Peter Barter has become involved and I hope that'll bring greater focus from the government to the work of the National AIDS Council. We can only hope. But the difficulty is the government's lack of focus on the critical areas of service delivery. They forget that what they need to do is invest significant commitment both in finances and in appointing good people in the service delivery of the government's work."

Peter Aitsi says the country must prevent a further increase in infections.