Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Towards a Healthier PNG

By Peter Siba

Medical researchers in Papua New Guinea face unique scientific and public health challenges.

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The staff of the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research work in an environment that inspires fear and travel warnings for the governments of many of our collaborating partners. Yet we are not daunted by the challenges facing our country as we have even more pressing issues to address.

Every day, children and adults in PNG are dying from treatable and preventable illnesses such as pneumonia, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoea and filariasis, among others. Yet these medical problems are often preventable in Australia and New Zealand.

Many factors contribute to these deaths, with lack of proper diagnosis and treatment a major issue. This is where medical research comes in, and this is where the PNG Institute of Medical Research shines.

Over the past 45 years the IMR has been conducting medical research into health problems affecting Papua New Guineans with the goal of improving our overall health. Our headquarters is in Goroka in the Eastern Highlands; we have branches in Port Moresby and the coastal towns of Madang, Maprik and Alotau, and smaller study sites in remote locations.

We have around 500 staff working on 79 different studies, and while the vast majority are from our country, we also enjoy the expertise of researchers from yours.

IMR has been studying diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, malaria, tuberculosis, pigbel,...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.