27 Jun 2005

AIDSs campaign in PNG thwarted by poorly stocked and staffed medical clinics

8:19 pm on 27 June 2005

The NGO, Save the Children Papua New Guinea, which is actively working to combat the spread of HIV/Aids, says sex workers are regularly turned away from under resourced government health clinics.

PNG is suffering an escalating AIDs crisis with the Health Minister, Melchior Pep, last week telling Parliament the disease was spreading like a bushfire.

In Lae, Save the Children has an outreach programme, using sex workers to contact their colleagues and encourage them to seek treatment and counselling.

But Catherine Mackson of Save the Children says sometimes they can't get treatment at the clinics.

"There are too many of them and there's a shortage of drugs and a lack of manpower, of human resources. And people come from everywhere throughout the city to get treatment, and sometimes they are turned back."