The Australian Government has committed around K21.4 million in funding to Papua New Guinea’s Provincial Health Authorities and the Autonomous Bougainville Government to support provincial COVID-19 preparedness and response activities.
Supported by the PNG-Australia Partnership and the National Department of Health, this funding will assist Provincial Health Authorities to progress implementation of provincial COVID-19 emergency response plans and reduce the spread among communities.
“Provincial Health Authorities are on the frontline with the communities who will be most affected by COVID-19, making difficult decisions on how to prioritise limited funding,” said Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp. “We are pleased to be able to support them in this effort”.
The Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS, the Hon. Jelta Wong, said he, “welcomed the support of the Government and people of Australia for much needed assistance at this difficult time. All the Provincial Health Authorities are now in place and this assistance will go a long way in building their capacity as frontline in the provinces while learning from COVID-19 pandemic”.
Funds will support surveillance, clinical management and infection prevention and control. This includes staff training and recruitment, and the establishment of triaging, quarantine and isolation facilities, as well as waste management and disposal. The funding will also support rapid response teams and surveillance at airports, ports and land borders.
Australia remains committed to working with Papua New Guinea in its efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Feature Pic: Balam Community Health Post in East Sepik Province, which was opened with Australian funding support in 2019.