Microscopists from around the country participated in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Competency Assessment of Malaria Microscopists course that ended yesterday.
WHO Assessor, Ken Lilly, says the importance of the course is to help local microscopists to better identify malaria species more accurately for immediate treatment.
Lilly said local microscopists need more training and courses on malaria microscopy to meet the World Health Organisation standard.
The five-day course saw 12 microscopists from the top malaria afflicted provinces in the country participate.
Lilly, who is from the Australian Army Malaria Institute, says the course is based on external competency assessment.
He says there have been improvements in the performance of the participants.
The World Health Organisation has set up four competency levels for this particular course in identifying malaria parasites, with Level One being the highest.
The majority of the participants have reached Level Three and Four, while four participants have reached Level Two, and one participant Level One.
Caroline Gaudi from the Central Provincial Health Laboratory, who topped the highest level at the course, said it would help her to assist in provincial hospitals and at malaria disease sites around the country.
The course ended yesterday with participant’s receiving their certificates.
Meanwhile, Lilly says PNG is not doing well in terms of treating malaria cases. He said there is still more that needs to be improved.
WHO will be running two courses every year for the next three years.
The course was hosted by the Health Department and supported by the Australia China Papua New Guinea Pilot Project Cooperation on Malaria Control Project.
The malaria control project was launched in January this year to strengthen the quality of malaria diagnosis in PNG health services.