Lessons learnt from a measles outbreak in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, June 2014 - March 2015


  • Karoi Kamac Provincial Health Office, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Beverley Paterson University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • James Flint Hunter New England Health, New South Wales, Australia




Objective: This study examined measles vaccine wastage during an outbreak response in Madang Province of Papua New Guinea from June 2014 to March 2015.

Methods: Vaccine wastage was defined as the number of doses received by a health centre minus the total number of doses administered during and returned following the outbreak vaccination campaign. Vaccine data were collected from the Provincial Health Information Office, the Provincial Vaccine Store register and clinic and health centre immunization registers for calculating the vaccine wastage. Interviews were conducted with all 48 health centres involved in the outbreak response using a structured questionnaire to explore the reasons for vaccine wastage.

Results: Of the 154 110 doses issued by Madang Province during the outbreak, a total of 85 236 (55%) doses were wasted. The wastage varied by district from 31% to 90%. The total cost of the vaccine wastage was estimated to be 589 810 Kina (US$ 196 604). None of the health centres maintained vaccine stock registers. Most health centres indicated multiple failures in cold chain logistics. Almost 40% of health centres reported incorrectly diluting vaccines. The same percentage of health centres reported using incorrect injection techniques.

Discussion: Regular audits of cold chain logistics, staff training and improved processes for recording vaccine administration and wastage will decrease vaccine wastage during vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and also benefit routine immunization activities.



How to Cite

Kamac K, Paterson B, Flint J. Lessons learnt from a measles outbreak in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, June 2014 - March 2015. Western Pac Surveill Response J [Internet]. 2017 Apr. 3 [cited 2024 Feb. 28];8(1). Available from: https://ojs.wpro.who.int/ojs/index.php/wpsar/article/view/473



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