ProPest Control Limited was privileged to participate in the UNFPA HealthFest 2023 on the 23rd June, 2023. The aim of the HealthFest was to showcase health issues affecting everyone and exploring the often side-lined and taboo health issues such as Maternal Health, Mens Health, Mental Health and Menstrual Health to name a few.
There are many reasons why these health issues face limited discussions and exposure in Papua New Guinea in which we will look at a few here.
1. Lack of Education & Awareness
The lack of comprehensive education and awareness on specific health issues make individuals and communities feel uncomfortable to discuss openly.
Topics such as menstrual health and better hygiene practices is not adequately taught in schools and girls tend to miss class during their menstruation.
Mental health is another health issue that is least discussed due to the lack of information on mental health conditions, their causes or available treatments.
2. Stigma & shame
In most PNG societies, there is stigma associated with discussing topics related to sensitive health issues.
Maternal health, often considered a women’s issue, is a critical area that affects the well-being of women and mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period and is left to the women to deal with it silently on their own.
Another health issue that also faces stigma and shame is mental health as it is most often considered an individual’s weakness and personal failure. People who experience mental health are shun away to self-isolation by their own families and communities.
3. Health agenda focus
There are well-known health issues like HIV/Aids, malaria and TB that often get all the benefits of funding, advocacy and coverage whereas men’s health and mental health receive little or no attention. This results in limited resources such as therapy or counselling and underrepresentation in discussions.
Overall, awareness plays a vital role in promoting healthy lifestyles, access to healthcare and addressing social issues that significantly impact our quality of life. Let’s help play our part by sharing this information.