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Effects of the election on COVID-19 advocacy in PNG

Written by McQuina Timiel

COVID-19, the scourge of the Pacific Islands, has killed thousands of people and counting in the last three years. COVID has affected many people including their businesses and perception. Research and studies including observation and experience have shown how perilous this killer virus is, but still, most populations are reluctant to be vaccinated.

Is advocacy for COVID-19 ineffective in the Pacific? Or is the lifestyle and belief system of people too hard-headed to persuade?

Either way, COVID is here to stay, once a virus is out in the world there is no getting rid of it. The only solution is vaccination and improving living standards including better hygiene and affordable access to health care. COVID has the symptoms of a fever.

This makes people reluctant to believe COVID’s existence and its effects, but the

world powers have manipulated ways to take control of the world.

Established by Worldometer millions have died across the globe due to the virus, these numbers would at least persuade all Papua New Guineans to be vaccinated, but instead, it frightens them. All the citizens have their own reasons for being reluctant.

The most important thing is to be strategically persuasive when it comes to dealing with Pacific Islanders, most especially PNGians.

National Research Institutes published all possible reasons as to why people are not certain that vaccines are not the answer for COVID-19 and ways to maximise the approach for advocacy.

The frequent lockdowns have affected business across the Pacific, hence causing inflation which affects the living standard of the people. Most population earn their living through subsistence farming, and they find it more challenging to make a living due to the fact that even public market places were on lockdown as well.

Papua New Guinea currently is undergoing an election period, this happens every five years and new leaders are to be voted into the parliament by the individual citizens of this country over the age of eighteen. It’s always chaotic in PNG (especially in the Highlands) and a few coastal areas when it comes to elections. Many accidents and tribal fights erupt because of politics, supporters can go to the extreme when they want their candidate to win. This period is PNG’s very crucial event.

COVID-19 has no effect on people’s perception or health when and during the election period. As observed, almost all business houses up in the Highlands region in PNG have not followed the “NO MASK NO ENTRY” policies that UNICEF has placed for all its benefactors. Also, even the foreign and national-owned retails around the settlement areas in the country's coastal region weren’t too compliant either.

The question must be asked then…

What happened to this Policy? Why isn’t it effective during this time of the year?


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