• Ol i kolim veksin bilong stretim sik TB olsem BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) veksin.
    The vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) is known as BCG (bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine.

FYI: Vaccine-preventable Diseases in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea was certified as a country free of poliomyelitis by the Regional Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication in 2000. It made the switch from OPV (oral polio vaccine) to the IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) on 18 April 2016 and was validated on 2 May 2016.

Vaccine coverage has declined over the past 5 years and continues to fall below targets across all antigens. Against the third dose of diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP3) national coverage target of 72%, the official estimate is 61% (2016), down from 68% in 2013. WHO/UNICEF estimates are higher at 72% coverage (GAVI, 2017). Estimated coverage with measles-containing vaccine (MCV) continues to stagnate at 70% since 2013 and stayed at 70% in 2016 (GAVI, 2017).

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was introduced formally in November 2013, but only in some provinces. Roll-out continued in 2014, though impacted significantly by delayed training and a major measles outbreak (described below), and without formal coverage estimates. The national roll-out in late 2015 was consistent with the official estimated coverage of 20%. IPV was introduced nationally with PCV in November 2015 but coverage estimates are not available for IPV, or for second-dose MCV2 (introduced in early 2016).

There was a large-scale measles outbreak from September 2013, with the last case reported in September 2015. In total, 2649 confirmed cases and no deaths were officially reported to WHO through the national surveillance system. However, the National Verification Committee report notes that there were more than 75 000 suspected cases during this period. The sensitivity of the surveillance system is not adequate, as measured by performance on standard surveillance indicators (the rate of reporting of suspected cases with fever and rash that tested negative for measles and rubella). In 2016, the annualized national reporting rate of non-measles/non-rubella suspected cases was 0.5/100 000 population (target >2/100 000 total population at the national level) and only 10% (target >80%) of provinces are achieving this recommended reporting rate.

More positively, there was an improvement in the drop-out rates between pentavalent (penta)-1 and (penta)-3 vaccinations from 29% in 2014 to 25% in 2015, though this was still significantly worse than the target of 16%. Provincial and district penta-3 coverage levels vary widely across Papua New Guinea, from 20% to 97%, though there are concerns with both the numerator and especially the denominator, with the number of eligible children based on a 2011 national Census adjusted for annual population growth.

In terms of equity of vaccine coverage, just 18% of the 89 districts have penta-3 coverage above 80%, down from 20% in 2014. Although a signatory to Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination, routine administrative coverage of tetanus toxoid 2+ dose (TT2+) decreased from 60% in 2008 to 50% in 2014. Papua New Guinea faces serious challenges in improving TT coverage even where ANC attendance rates are higher than the TT+ coverage rates, and reflects the serious and complex problems in the system, including vaccine availability. No data were reported on the number of cases of neonatal tetanus in 2014, impeding the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI)’s ability to design and plan effective and evidence-based interventions (GAVI, 2016).

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