Published articles include:
Vaccination and nutritional status of children in Karawari, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Dr Louis Samiak
Delivery of health care services to rural and remote populations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is problematic. This is mainly due to difficulties with transportation and communication. Hence, the children in this region of PNG are likely to be at risk of malnutrition compounded by inadequate vaccination that may predispose them to preventable diseases. This study was conducted to determine the vaccination and nutritional status of children less than 5 years old in the remote and rural Karawari area of PNG. 105 children were included in the study, of whom 55% were male and 45% female. The mean age of children included in the study was 32.6 months. Their age, height, and weight by gender was not significantly different. Overall, 85% of children had incomplete vaccination. However, children above the median age of 32 months (34%) were more likely to be fully vaccinated for their age, χ2 (1) = 23.294, p < 0.005. In addition, 25% of children were below the -1 SD (Z-scores) for weight-for—height, 33% below the -1 SD for weight-for-age, and 25.5% below the -1 SD for height-for-age compared to WHO standards.
A large proportion of children had poor nutrition status and lack protection from vaccine preventable diseases. This study recommends that the government should introduce a surveillance system for detecting issues of importance to the rural majority. We also recommend that the PNG government reopen the nearby health centre, and/ or establish new facilities within the region, with adequately trained and compensated staff.
Relevance of organisational support on academics’ affective commitment and turnover intentions
Purpose: The current study provides an indication as to the motivation of people to remain in academic positions where substantial economic inequity is present and more favourable alternative employment is possible. This is important for the retention of qualified academic staff in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and for the supply of well-educated workers in this developing country.
Design/methodology/approach: We surveyed 94 National (Indigenous) academic staff at a prominent PNG university for their perceptions of organisational justice and management support, with an aim determining if these variables were related to workers’ affective commitment and intentions to turnover. The surveyed staff members are all employed on an inequitable basis in that their salaries and living conditions are inferior to those of equally qualified expatriate academic staff.
Findings: The research found that staff members’ emotional connection (affective commitment) to their work was predicted by organisational support, whereas lack of organisational support predicted academic staff turnover.
Practical implications: Universities must provide supportive environments to enable staff to remain focused and committed in order to maintain high morale and reduce turnover in academic staff.
Originality/value: Previous research on this topic has emphasised the economic inequity faced by National academic staff members in PNG’s high education institutions. The current research applies motivation theory to people experiencing this obvious inequity. It finds that an environment where workers experience management support and a sense of intrinsic reward can effectively influence their intention to remain at their place of work as well as their emotional connection to their institution and their students.