15 Oct 2009

WHO registers decline in malaria in PNG

2:15 pm on 15 October 2009

The World Health Organisation says the number of malaria cases in Papua New Guinea is slowly decreasing.

Malaria is endemic in PNG, as well as in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The Solomons and Vanuatu are moving to eliminate the disease rather than just controlling it, which is a United Nations millennium goal by 2015.

The organisation's malaria scientist in PNG, Dr Zaixang Zhang, says PNG is not yet embracing that policy as the numbers are still too high.

"The number of malaria cases in the past three years is decreasing a bit, but not so significantly. It's around about 1.6 million cases per year."

Dr Zaixang Zhang says two years ago 1.7 million people suffered from malaria, compared to 1.8 million the year before.