UNICEF donates essential equipment to PNG

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In order to ensure safety of frontline health workers caring for the patients of COVID-19 at isolation wards, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over to the National Department of Health a shipment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The shipment, sent from UNICEF’s global supply hub in Copenhagen, contains 500 sets of PPE, including 20,000 gloves, 10,000 caps, 5,000 surgical masks and 1,500 gowns

“We continue to be prepared to contain the COVID-19. The PPE is crucial to ensure our dedicated frontline health workers caring for patients at isolation wards are protected adequately,” said Health and HIV/AIDS Minister, Jelta Wong, while accepting the PPE.

Recognizing the threat of the coronavirus disease, PNG started preparedness measures to prevent entry of the virus into the country since January. An emergency preparedness and response plan has been put in place based on the risk assessment. The plan identifies different scenarios and key actions for each of the phases alert, containment and mitigation.

“Safety of our health workers is of paramount importance to us. UNICEF in is committed to supporting the government of Papua New Guinea in its preparedness and response to world’s common enemy –the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UNICEF Representative, David Mcloughlin, at a handover ceremony today.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It is linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of common cold. The virus is transmitted through direct contact, respiratory droplets like coughing and sneezing, and touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.

Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as, diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

To avoid the risk of transmission, people should wash their hands frequently using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough, seek medical care early if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share previous travel history with the health care provider.

Feature Pic: From left to right – UNICEF Chief Health Dr Shaikh Humayun Kabir; National Department of Health Acting Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala; Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong; and UNICEF Representative David Mcloughlin

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