Infectious diseases are still the dominating cause of death
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a population of about 5 million people, 85% of whom live in rural villages.1 Since becoming independent in 1975, PNG has experienced problems common to emerging nations of starting from a subsistence base and simultaneously seeking to achieve economic sustainability and nationhood as well as build systems of governance, defence, transport, communication, education and healthcare. Health system development has not kept pace with changing demands in PNG. Instead, primary health services have faltered, placing a heavier burden of disease on struggling secondary care facilities as opportunities for prevention and early treatment are lost because aidposts have closed or vaccination rates have fallen.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.