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Papua New Guinea

Aust, PNG govts to rebuild health services in Hela, SHP

The PNG and Australian governments and Oil Search Foundation are working together to support provincial health authorities to deliver improved health outcomes in Hela and Southern Highlands Province.

MP for Koroba-Lake Kopiago and Minister for Immigration and Border Security, Petrus Thomas presented a cheque of K200,000 of district funding to support rehabilitation works at the Koroba district The rehabilitation is part of a broader partnership initiative, Wok Bung Wantaim, funded by the Australian Government and the Oil Search Foundation (OSF).

Its isolation and remoteness, combined with damage sustained in the February earthquake in the Highlands, had seen the facility deteriorate.

Koroba Kopiago’s district development funds will add to previous commitments from OSF to ensure the facility is returned to full function as soon as possible.

Australia has also provided K1.2 million for a new X-ray and pathology facility to give patients access to a more comprehensive range of services.

“Each one of us – government, donors, churches, NGOs and the private sector can do a lot to support improved health services. But when we coordinate funding, skills and experience through partnership we can together drive real change,” Mr Thomas said.

Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, said Australia is pleased with the expanding partnership that will deliver better health outcomes in Hela.

“I am delighted that Australia, working with OSF, churches and NGOs, can support the Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA), local MPs and their District Development Authorities (DDAs). This partnership will improve health services for the people of Koroba-Lake Kopigao and beyond,” Mr Davis said.

“Australia is working with its partners in Koroba-Lake Kopiago to deliver not only on the restoration of services post-earthquake but improving those services to meet the growing needs of the district. This partnership is a unique way of working together and we are delighted to be part of such a great initiative.”

OSF is working with the HPHA to manage the project in partnership with Australia and others.

OSF executive director Stephanie Copus-Campbell said the partnership and rehabilitation work was a step forward to improving health services to people of the district.

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