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UN speeds up target in PNG

THE challenge to improve sanitation to reach those in need has led to a consolidated call for action to accelerate progress.
The United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced last year that the Millennium Development Goal drinking water target had been met and surpassed by 2010, the target has not yet been met.
That is why the WHO and UNICEF joint monitoring program for water supply and sanitation, the official UN mechanism tasked with monitoring global progress towards MDG relating to drinking water and sanitation, has estimated some coverage for PNG in 2010.
These estimates according to WHO officer in charge Dr Fabian Ndendako states that 40 per cent of the national population are using improved drinking water sources with 33 per cent in rural areas and 45 per cent of the national population are using improved sanitation facilities with 41 per cent in rural areas. 
However, Dr Fabian says there are discrepancies in data collection between international and national estimates. 
The program indicators cannot match local perceptions and differ from country estimates including PNG because of technical issues such as;
* Use of different definitions of access and poorly defines access categories
* Exclusion of shared facilities
* Use of latest survey or census findings against use of land and interpolated estimates 
* Use of different population estimates, including different distribution of urban and rural population
*Use of old estimates which do not reflect the latest or all findings
* Uses of reported line ministry data against use of independently verifiable data from sample or census. 
To fix the discrepancies, a two day meeting in Port Moresby begins today and will be attended by environmental health officers from various provinces. 
The meeting will introduce mechanisms to breach the gap and harmonise the inconsistencies between the global monitoring program and national system of water and sanitation coverage. 
This expertise will be given by a WHO technicaladvisor from Geneva who is in the country.
The mechanism helps draws connections between access to clean water and private sanitation facilities and quality of life. It monitors proportion of population using an improved drinking water source and the proportion of population using an improved sanitation source.
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