PNG urges measles vaccinations before travel

9:23 am on 10 January 2020

Papua New Guinea's Department of Health is advising people to get vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before overseas travel.

Measles, mumps, rubella, virus vaccine and syringe on blue background.

Photo: Sherry Yates/123RF

Three measles cases have been confirmed in PNG in Gulf and New Ireland provinces and in the National Capital District.

The Post Courier reports measles vaccinations are free at Gerehu Hospital in the capital and at provincial hospitals.

People intending to travel are advised to present their flight bookings when being immunised in order to receive a yellow immunisation certificate.

The department's managing director of disease control, Barry Ropa, said some countries in the Pacific, like Solomon Islands, had made it mandatory for travellers to to declare their immunisation status.

In December, the Solomons health ministry said visitors without proof of vaccination would be deported.

Meanwhile, the governor of PNG's Gulf province said emergency response teams would be sent to the Turama area of Kikori district, where four suspected measles cases have been reported.

The National reports Chris Haiveta calling on people in the area not to panic.

All four response teams would be led by doctors and would also be available to vaccinate children against the disease.

Mr Haiveta said people in Turama should bring children aged between six months and 15 years to the medical teams to be immunised against measles.