Supporting malaria elimination in Papua New Guinea

Throughout the Asia Pacific region, a growing number of countries are mapping their paths to national elimination of malaria. Of these countries, Papua New Guinea (PNG) faces the heaviest disease burden from malaria. Given the complexities of delivering healthcare in this geographically-diverse country, elimination across the country may take many years to accomplish. In the meantime, there are specific sub-regional environments within PNG where malaria elimination may be feasible in the short-term.

  • Access in Action

    • Since 2011, MMV has been engaged in a drug development and access partnership with Newcrest Mining Limited, an Australian mining company with significant operations in Papua New Guinea.

    • With its largest mine in the Lihir Group of Islands (LGI), Newcrest has undertaken to work with local authorities and stakeholders to address health challenges that impact the community.

    • Currently, MMV is working with Newcrest, IS Global, International SOS, and staff from a local medical centre in Lihir to map out a plan to eliminate malaria from LGI by 2022. It will also require significant support from local stakeholders and health authorities to achieve near-elimination of malaria. Equally important, these partners will need a commitment to sustain the gains by preventing the re-introduction of malaria within the population of the island.

    • Initial work to create community awareness of the future campaign has been ongoing for the past 2 years. In addition, two small scale studies have: (a) assessed the safety of using DHA-PQP as the preferred pharmaceutical product for eventual use in mass drug administration; (b) investigated the epidemiology of G6PD-deficiency in Lihir in anticipation of the wider use of an 8-aminoquinoline treatment to support the elimination of P. vivax malaria in LGI.

    • Once implemented, the malaria elimination initiative in Lihir should help guide other elimination projects in different provinces in Papua New Guinea. It will also provide evidence regarding best approaches for malaria elimination in environments with both P. falciparum and P. vivax malaria.


    Past and current partners:

    International SOS, IS Global, Newcrest Mining Limited


    Updated October 2019