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Madang, Papua New Guinea

Divine Word University is a national Catholic university in Papua New Guinea. It is one of the newest tertiary institutions in the country. It was established as a university by an Act of Parliament in 1996. The university is ecumenical and coeducational, and is under the leadership of the Divine Word Missionaries.Its first educational institution was Divine Word Secondary High School. In 1980, this became Divine Word Institute, established by an Act of Parliament.It is based in Madang on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. On-site accommodation is available in DWU as well as day attendance for local students.Divine Word University has five faculties. These are Arts, Business and Informatics, Education, Health Sciecences, and Theology. In 2012 the former Faculty of Flexible Learning was changed into the Flexible Learning Centre and each of its constituent departments migrated to one of the other faculties for administrative purposes. The University offers undergraduate degrees as well as Masters programs in most faculties, and the PhD. Masters and PhD programs can be done on a full-time basis or off campus in distance mode by occasional attendance and work completion.The university is amalgamating and affiliating with a number of institutions to provide a broader base of education. In April 2002, the College of Allied Health science amalgamated and St Benedict's Teachers College in Wewak, East Sepik Province joined in August, 2003. These institutions are now campuses of DWU. In 2013 the university joined in operating Tabubil Hospital in Tabubil, Western Province. Wikipedia.

Background: Despite the well-recognized effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant life for reducing infant mortality, adherence to this practice is not widespread in the developing world. Although several studies on infant nutrition practices have been conducted in urban settings of Papua New Guinea (PNG), there is only scant information on infant feeding practices in rural settings. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate knowledge, attitude and practice associated with exclusive breastfeeding in various locations in rural PNG.Methods: A mixed method study using interviews based on a semi-structured questionnaire (n = 140) and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) was conducted among mothers in rural PNG between August and September 2012. Participants were selected using convenience sampling. Included in the study were both primiparous and multiparous mothers with a child below the age of two years. Content analysis was used for qualitative data and descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data.Results: Whereas most women indicated breastfeeding as a better way to feed babies, knowledge of the reasons for its superiority over infant formula was generally poor. Only 17% of mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months postpartum. Our study showed that the size of the gap between exclusive breastfeeding practice and global recommendations was striking. Taking into account the low educational profile of the participants, the disparity may be explained by the fact that most of the mothers in this study had no formal education on infant feeding.Conclusions: This study showed a lack of understanding of the importance of and poor adherence to exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months postpartum among rural mothers. As exclusive breastfeeding promotion has been proved to be one of most effective ways to improve infant survival, more attention should be given to it, especially targeting the large proportion of women who missed formal education on infant feeding in school. A proper community-based program including the tools for monitoring its implementation and effectiveness needs to be developed to transform policy recommendations into action in rural PNG. © 2013 Kuzma; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Suwamaru J.K.,Divine Word University
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics

Access to basic healthcare in many parts of Papua New Guinea (PNG) remains a challenge partly because the majority of the population is thinly scattered across a geographically rugged country. The major health problems in PNG pertain to malaria, tuberculosis and diarrheal diseases while HIV has reached epidemic levels. The proliferation of the mobile phone technology in PNG has been unprecedented since the introduction of competition in the sector in July 2007. Users in rural areas now access the mobile phone signal making it their preferred form of modern communications medium. This paper introduces an SMS-based HIV/AIDS education, awareness and information dissemination model for a predominantly rural-based PNG society. © 2012 The authors and IOS Press. Source

Hombhanje F.W.,Divine Word University | Huang Q.,China Pharma

With the rapidly spreading resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to available non-artemisinin antimalarial drugs, new and novel pharmaceuticals are needed. ARCO® is a new generation ACT, one of several artemisinin-based combinations developed in China to counter antimalarial drug resistance. ARCO® is a derivative of two independently developed antimalarials, artemisinin and naphthoquine phosphate, which were combined to form the artemisinin-naphthoquine combination. Both artemisinin and naphthoquine drugs have proven to be efficacious, safe and well tolerated as monotherapies. The artemisinin- naphthoquine combination offers a novel advantage over existing ACTs: it can be administered as a single oral dose (or a 1-day treatment). Several therapeutic studies conducted recently indicate that a single oral dose administration of artemisinin- naphthoquine combination is equally effective and safe as the 3-day treatment with artemether-lumefantrine combination and other existing ACTs. This would make ARCO® the next generation ACT for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Manning L.,University of Western Australia | Laman M.,University of Western Australia | Laman M.,Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research | Rosanas-Urgell A.,Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Background: There are few detailed etiologic studies of severe anemia in children from malaria-endemic areas and none in those countries with holoendemic transmission of multiple Plasmodium species. Methodology/Principal Findings: We examined associates of severe anemia in 143 well-characterized Papua New Guinean (PNG) children aged 0.5-10 years with hemoglobin concentration <50 g/L (median [inter-quartile range] 39 [33-44] g/L) and 120 matched healthy children (113 [107-119] g/L) in a case-control cross-sectional study. A range of socio-demographic, behavioural, anthropometric, clinical and laboratory (including genetic) variables were incorporated in multivariate models with severe anemia as dependent variable. Consistent with a likely trophic effect of chloroquine or amodiaquine on parvovirus B19 (B19V) replication, B19V PCR/IgM positivity had the highest odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 75.8 (15.4-526), followed by P. falciparum infection (19.4 (6.7-62.6)), vitamin A deficiency (13.5 (5.4-37.7)), body mass index-for-age z-score <2.0 (8.4 (2.7-27.0)) and incomplete vaccination (2.94 (1.3-7.2)). P. vivax infection was inversely associated (0.12 (0.02-0.47), reflecting early acquisition of immunity and/or a lack of reticulocytes for parasite invasion. After imputation of missing data, iron deficiency was a weak positive predictor (6.4% of population attributable risk). Conclusions/Significance: These data show that severe anemia is multifactorial in PNG children, strongly associated with under-nutrition and certain common infections, and potentially preventable through vitamin A supplementation and improved nutrition, completion of vaccination schedules, and intermittent preventive antimalarial treatment using non-chloroquine/amodiaquine-based regimens. © 2012 Manning et al. Source

Batty K.T.,Curtin University Australia | Salman S.,University of Western Australia | Moore B.R.,University of Western Australia | Benjamin J.,Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research | And 8 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

Artemisinin-naphthoquine (ART-NQ) is a coformulated antimalarial therapy marketed as a single-dose treatment in Papua New Guinea and other tropical countries. To build on limited knowledge of the pharmacokinetic properties of the components, especially the tetra-aminoquinoline NQ, we studied ART-NQ disposition in Papua New Guinea children aged 5 to 12 years with uncomplicated malaria, comparing a single dose (15 and 6 mg/kg of body weight) administered with water (group 1; n = 13), a single dose (22 and 9 mg/kg) with milk (group 2) (n = 17), and two daily doses of 22 and 9 mg/kg with water (group 3; n = 16). The plasma NQ concentration was assayed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and the plasma ART concentration was assayed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Population-based multicompartment pharmacokinetic models for NQ and ART were developed. NQ disposition was best characterized by a three-compartment model with a mean absorption half-life (t 1/2) of 1.0 h and predicted median maximum plasma concentrations that ranged as high as 57 μg/liter after the second dose in group 3. The mean NQ elimination t 1/2 was 22.8 days; clearance relative to bioavailability (CL/F) was 1.1 liters/h/kg; and volume at steady state relative to bioavailability (V ss/F) was 710 liters/kg. Administration of NQ with fat (8.5 g; 615 kJ) versus water was associated with 25% increased bioavailability. ART disposition was best characterized by a two-compartment model with a mean CL/F (4.1 liters/h/kg) and V/F (21 liters/kg) similar to those of previous studies. There was a 77% reduction in the bioavailability of the second ART dose (group 3). NQ has pharmacokinetic properties that confirm its potential as an artemisinin partner drug for treatment of uncomplicated pediatric malaria. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

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