Radio New Zealand International
AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER of Papua New Guinean children dying from preventable illnesses is being attributed to an historical failure to invest in health services.
The country director of the charity organisation CARE International says on average 58 children out of every 1,000 die before the age of five from illnesses such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.
Peter Raynes says this compares with six deaths out of every 1,000 in New Zealand.
Furthermore, he says, in rural parts of PNG, the number is likely to be as high as one child in 10.
“There has been an increase in population over the last few decades, PNG currently estimated at about seven million people,” Mr Raynes said.
“And basically the investment in health services that was required to keep up with that increase hasn’t been there and as a result some of these basic services are not in place.”