Australia gives more support to PNG polio fight

The Australian Government has increased its aid to Papua New Guinea to fight the polio outbreak there.

It will provide a further $US4.3 million dollars to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to support PNG’s response to the outbreak, bringing Australia’s total contribution to $US11.3 million.

Fourteen children – ten of them under five – have been confirmed as having the virus. A nine-month old boy in Enga province was recently confirmed as the outbreak’s first fatality.

The new aid increase for polio eradication was part of discussions between Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and her PNG counterpart Rimbink Pato in Port Moresby yesterday.

Ms Payne is on a two-day visit to PNG. Her discussions with Mr Pato and other PNG government ministers were also focussing on labour mobility, APEC summit preparations, and ongoing management of the Kokoda Track.

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