Papua New Guinea Had Zero Covid-19 Cases for Months. Now It’s Overwhelmed.
“They’re our household. They’re our mates. They’re our neighbors. They’re our companions,” Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, stated final week. “That is in Australia’s pursuits, and it’s in our area’s pursuits.”
Covax, a worldwide well being initiative designed to make entry to inoculations extra equal, started rolling out doses of vaccines to creating nations final month, and it has stated it would ship 588,000 to Papua New Guinea by June.
However in some instances, wealthier nations have did not honor contracts, decreasing the variety of doses the initiative should purchase, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Well being Group, stated in an announcement final month. He warned that the pandemic wouldn’t finish till everybody was vaccinated.
“This isn’t a matter of charity,” he stated. “It’s a matter of epidemiology.”
Till then, officers in Papua New Guinea might be left to fight not solely the virus itself, but additionally a tide of misinformation in regards to the pathogen and the vaccines, carried largely via social media channels.
“Even for the educated well being employee, it’s inflicting numerous doubt,” stated Dr. Nou, the Port Moresby-based doctor, who has carried out a survey of well being care employees’ views in regards to the pandemic. He stated that some within the nation believed that the virus was a hoax, that individuals on the island have been immune, or that it is perhaps safer to contract the virus than to be vaccinated.
With the nation now targeted on the coronavirus, some public well being specialists fear that the redirecting of assets might come at a deadly value to these with different extreme well being situations, equivalent to malaria or tuberculosis. Papua New Guinea has among the highest charges of tuberculosis on the planet.
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