14 Apr 2006

New Zealand MP calls for concerted action to tackle HIV/Aids in PNG

4:17 pm on 14 April 2006

A New Zealand Government politician says the time for talking about the growing HIV/Aids epidemic in Papua New Guinea is over.

MP Steve Chadwick says the numbers suffering from HIV/Aids infection could reach half a million in ten years and concerted action is needed now.

Ms Chadwick this week led an Australasian parliamentary team, with the Family Planning Association, looking at the state of PNG's health services, especially HIV/Aids.

She says a country wide approach is needed with the government properly co-ordinating the money that is allocated to fight the virus.

Ms Chadwick says they should start with an audit of this funding.

"That that funding is getting out is being spent. They just clearly need to be working alongside the programmes and [studying] the donor countries where the programmes are effective, and then look at the spread of those programmes and making sure what works is universal throughout PNG, and, frankly, diitching what doesn't work."