During the recent trip by MV Doulos in Port Moresby, I was asked to be the contact person for the team on the ground in case of medical emergencies.
Three weeks prior to the arrival of the ship, the prepartion team was in Port Moresby and I was asked to give advice on what precautions to take and what immunisations will be required for the team. So I filled out a form the preparation team had for me. This experience brought to my attention the need for PNG doctors to be knowledgable on health advice for overseas visitors.
If you are visiting Port Moresby or the Central Province this would be my advice (note. I will not be responsible for any harm done because of this post. Consult your local GP prior to travel).
Carry your own water all times. This is prevent parasitic infections that may cause diarrhoea. And also to prevent dehydration.
Commence malaria prophalaxis one month prior to travel. And contine for 2-3 weeks after arriving back in your home country. If you start having fever, consult your local GP ASAP.
Do not buy food sold on the streets. Or if you are offered food from a village feast, just take a few bites. Otherwise kindly refuse.
If you are thinking of going treking, wear long boots. PNG has some of the most venomous snakes!
Common infections that you may need to know are – typhoid, malaria, dengue fever and respiratory tract infections.
Now to immunisations – you may want to discuss about taking these vaccines with your local doctor – typhoid, meningitis, TB, dengue, measles.
I am not an infectious disease specialist but I do have a special interest in communicable diseases and this is my advice. Once again, discuss with your local GP or the nearest infectious disease specialist prior to arriving in PNG.
OH! and be familiar with health care fascilities in Port Moresby where you can easily get medical attention in case of an emergency!