Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is geographically disparate including the large main island with remote highland areas and many islands to the north, south and east. It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with over 800 languages and hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups. It shares a 700km porous land border with Indonesia and has a range of development challenges; both communicable and non-communicable diseases exist at high levels in Papua New Guinea. Malaria incidence was previously declining, but has recently begun to increase. Papua New Guinea also has high levels of tuberculosis, including multi-drug resistant cases.

The Centre for Health Security has planned a series of investments to address priorities identified by the Government of Papua New Guinea, as well as recommendations made by the scoping mission, commissioned by the Centre for Health Security in 2018.

Planned support from the Centre for Health Security focuses on surveillance, risk assessment and response, laboratory diagnostic capability including support for the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, infection prevention and control in health care settings and diseases spread from animals to humans (zoonoses). The Burnet Institute, University of Newcastle and Menzies School of Health Research are key partners for work led by the Centre for Health Security in Papua New Guinea.


In March 2019, DFAT opened a call for proposals under the Health Security Initiative for country-specific and multi-country activities to strengthen infectious disease detection, prevention and response in the Indo-Pacific region. Two streams of funding have been established:

  • The Pacific Infectious Disease Prevention (PIDP) program - $25 million over 2019-2022.
  • The ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response (APIDDaR) program - $28 million over 2019-2022.

As at November 2019, the Centre for Health Security is undertaking a collaborative design process with a group of preferred partner organisations, who were selected on the basis of demonstrated organisational capacity and activity concepts.


The following programs supported under the Health Security Initiative include Papua New Guinea as one of the target countries:

Country & Regional

  • Tupaia

    Tupaia combines data from multiple sources to help improve the availability of medicines, map disease outbreaks, respond to disasters and strengthen service provision in the Indo-Pacific.

  • The Indo-Pacific Regulatory Strengthening Program

    Supporting national medicines regulatory authorities to work together effectively improves the impact and safety of medical products through more efficient regulation. To this end, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is working with key Indo-Pacific counterpart authorities to improve regulatory systems and processes, including through sharing regulatory information.

  • Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research

    The Centre aims to support PNG IMR to build its role as the lead institution for medical and health systems research in PNG.

  • Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA)

    A high-level initiative for collective action to eliminate malaria across Asia and the Pacific by 2030. The APLMA/APMEN Secretariat delivers its objectives through advocacy and outreach; fostering and strengthening partnerships and innovation; and providing policy guidance.