PNG urgently needs better child immunisation: WHO

7:59 pm on 20 October 2016
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Child immunisation services in Papua New Guinea are in need or urgent improvement, according to the World Health Organisation.

The WHO's country representative Dr Pieter Van Maaren highlighted that one out of 13 infants in PNG died before the age of five from common childhood or preventative illnesses.

The newspaper The National reports that Dr Van Maaren presented two vehicles from the WHO to the Health Department, intended for use in an expanded immunisation programme across PNG.

The programme - which includes vaccines for measles, rubella and polio - aims to achieve at least 95 per cent coverage of all vaccines.

PNG's Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said that immunisation services are now offered in all 89 districts, but only reached 60 per cent of immunisation-aged children.

The WHO has PNG as the sixth-placed high-priority country needing improvement in child immunisation.