SYDNEY, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The devastating and deadly scourge of malaria will be eliminated from Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 2030, according to the South Pacific nation's Health Minister Puka Temu.
He told local newspaper the National on Wednesday that thanks to an anti-malaria campaign co-organized by China's Guangdong New South Group and the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, eradicating the often deadly disease is now within reach.
"There is a strong understanding between the two countries (China and PNG) particularly in the eradication of malaria," Puka said.
"The success of the Fast Elimination of Malaria by Source Eradication using the Mass Drug Administration pilot project at Kiriwina shows tremendous results."
Chinese researchers were led to the tropical island of Kiriwina off the east coast of PNG because among its population of 40,000 residents, there were 179 reported cases per 1,000 people of malaria in 2016.
With the largely tribal community in desperate need of help, the Chinese medical team distributed three rounds of an anti-malaria medicine which was developed using a combination of modern science and ancient Chinese medicine.
Known as Artemisinin, the main ingredient of the drug was rediscovered by Chinese scientists back in 1969 and is derived from the plant sweet wormwood.
Directly targeting the parasitic infection plasmodium which causes malaria, the Chinese cure has seen the island now become over 99 percent malaria free.
Upon learning of the program's amazing success, Puka said he will bring the issue to the national parliament and make it the highest priority to spread the program throughout the country's hospitals, clinics and aid posts.