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Hello Emma, my apologies for the error, yes, the survey was conducted in May 2021.
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Thanks Jobs, and yes that was an unfortunate typo, apologies for the error, there will be a note added to correct this shortly. The survey was conducted in May 2021. I agree I just scratch the surface on reasons for the levels of vaccine trust. It would take a whole blog just to describe the diversity of legitimate concerns about the vaccine and legitimate distrust in authority and the media presentation of COVID19, and I do plan to discuss these in future blogs.
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Interesting that you were able to survey students over 1 year in advance of the vaccine being released in PNG and still think that the result could be in some way relevant for release now, without any update...... Or did you do your survey in May 2021? I may not be a learned person, but I employ over 50 people and I spent several hours discussing the vaccine roll-out with them. You have barely scratched the surface in reporting the remarks of students. I found the biggest hesitancies were: 1) Is the vaccine safe? We don't know this medicine, its new. The virus doesn't look so bad, I think I will wait and see "with my own eyes" if it's safe for people I know to take it. 2) The govt always lies to us, why would we trust them on this? 3) We heard that the vaccine is banned in Australia for under 60s – why are they telling us it is safe here in PNG? How can it be dangerous for them but safe for us? 4) I think I had the virus already, can I get infected again, do I need the vaccine? 5) We are hearing about side effects, are these normal in vaccinations? We didn't hear about these types of side effects in polio and other vaccines, or other medicines. 6) It's been 16 months and I don't personally know anybody that died of the virus, how dangerous can it be? 7) After 16 months only 170 people died, how many died from other things. 8) My son/daughter/mother/father and other people I know died from ______ while all this was going on. Why is the govt not spending money and making restrictions/laws for those things if so many people are dying. Why only for Covid? Far down the list of questions was the racist or religious disinformation. But I found that the biggest cause of vaccine hesitancy was that they are skeptical of the govt and media's constant harping on about a virus that has a very small death count in comparison to other causes and disproportionate govt response to it. The term "Don't believe your lying eyes, it's how we tell you it is, not how you see it" is the best way to describe the confusion. By the end of our session, I had answered everybody's questions and given them a clear understanding of the virus, the vaccine, how they work, their importance in stopping the spread of disease, and countered all the superstitions and urban myths. Everything I presented was fact based and researched through the CDC, WHO, Govt, and media. Grand total result, was that not one of my staff had been convinced to drop their guard and sign up for the vaccine. Though most of them did thank me for clarifying all their questions, because right now they are being fed half truths by people they are told to respect that can't answer their questions or are just making up obvious lies to cover their lack of knowledge (insert: pastors, big men, politicians, doomsayers and academics, etc) or obfuscating the truths and information to push their own narrative, but not actually answering the questions that people are asking. Noted that the govt did put in the newspaper several pages trying to answer a lot of these questions to dispel the above concerns, but it was the wrong median and it came from the wrong people. Prof. Glen Mola is not well respected outside of his own medical/govt circle and his talk of "Racist " was the stupidest thing that could ever have been published if the intent was to break down the myths and convince people to accept the vaccine. This approach only put a new thought in their minds, that perhaps the "white" govt paid doctor was trying to convince them to take a dangerous vaccine, "why else would he say that, when we were not thinking that?" For disclosure, I am not anti-vaccine at all. I have had all my shots, the last being (Polio, Hep, and a few other boosters only 3 years ago). I forwarded an offer to my staff to organize a company wide vaccination appointment time (during paid work hours) to any staff that would like to partake. When I had zero names on the list I was intrigued and set about holding a staff meeting to dispel any myths and give a very concise and clear explanation of the virus and vaccines. I believe that my staff are adult enough to make up their own minds about their (and their families) health directives, and that my role is only to present them with honest and factual information, the choice is then up to them to make.
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Thanks Rohan, this is useful. Can you confirm data is from May 2020? Will you repeat these questions in another end of semester survey? Interested to know if attitudes have changed a bit now?
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Great article, I've gained some valuable insight. I think there can never be a universal definition of the topic 'failed state' as every state has their own problems. However, even if there was one, it would be much more acceptable coming from the state concerned (in this case PNG) after an evaluation of its progress towards achieving its national aims and goals. But for the sake of talking about issues in PNG, maybe the word 'problematic' can be used to set some boundaries, in a sense where PNG has problems that needs attention.
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A great initiative to have an article on this. I couldn't agree more. I believe many Papua New Guineans are not aware of this. The notion of having to say that PNG is 'a failed state' is really disturbing for me. And having our former PM openly articulate that PNG is a failed state is more disturbing. It somewhat gives other countries the 'ok' to refer to PNG in such a manner. All the more its mind-boggling to see how other countries can really belittle others just because of superficial mentalities. For me personally, I despise PNG being referred to as 'uncivilized' and now 'a failed state'. Both of these labels I feel are wrongfully put on PNG. There's really more to PNG you know.
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A great blog and kudos to all the authors for bringing this subject out.
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Great blog. Looking forward to reading more from DWU.
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An important blog with noteworthy perspectives and critical thinking applied on a subject so often loosely used. Kudos to the authors and especially the student authors. Looking forward to reading more. Kylie, well done on facilitating such conversation among your students at DWU.
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Very happy for you three to point this out for the whole world to see. What's the whole cause of this? Is it jealousy because of our vast natural resources? Is it the level of knowledge, intervention, creativity or capability that we have is less compared to them? Or is it Racism? Or What is continuously suppressing us? Do we have potential? We are all humans.
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