By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
National Planning Minister, Richard Maru, says there is an urgent need for the country to have a National Immunisation Plan covering all diseases that citizens can be immunised against.
He has written to Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu, requesting the National Health Department to immediately complete a four-year plan this year.
He said this was essential to meet the national target of achieving an 80 per cent immunisation coverage by December 2022.
Minister Maru says the re-emergence of polio is a clear evidence of total failure to focus on immunisation as a key disease prevention strategy.
He said over the years, successive governments have lacked the leadership and focus on this priority area and this serious issue cannot remain unattended to. As a responsible government, the O’Neill-Abel Government must take strong and decisive action now.
“We need a four-year national plan, with full costing which we can share with provinces and districts to sign up to include co-funding assistance under DSIP,” Minister Maru said.