The PNG LNG Project is partnering with the Papua New Guinean Government and key non-government organisations to provide new medical equipment and hygiene programs.
These community health initiatives, featured in the latest PNG LNG Environmental and Social Report, reinforce the Project’s commitment to building sustainable health capacity and infrastructure within the Project impact areas.
To date the Project has contributed 2.6 million Kina to support tuberculosis control through various programs and activities which will increase the knowledge and skills of health personnel and strengthen infrastructure. This includes assisting the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research to secure three state-of-the art GeneXpert© diagnostic machines for the fast and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis. The machines will be provided to medical facilities in Kikori, Madang and Port Moresby.
PNG LNG Project Executive Decie Autin said faster and more accurate technology will allow for early intervention in tuberculosis cases to enable higher quality treatment.
“We recognise that the incidence of tuberculosis is high in Papua New Guinean communities. As a result, we are committed to improving diagnostic practices and treatment to minimise this debilitating disease,” Ms Autin said.
“Traditionally, people have had to wait six to eight weeks for a result. The GeneXpert© machines can provide a same day response with 98 percent accuracy, so the correct course of treatment can be prescribed immediately,” she said.
The Project has also partnered with Population Services International (PSI). Their successful Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Program includes a Community Led Total Sanitation initiative, the distribution of WASH kits and awareness education about personal hygiene behaviors that affect their communities. To date, 1000 kits have been distributed in Papa and Porebada in Central Province as well as several villages in the Hides-Komo area. A WASH Kit contains safe water and diarrheal treatment items to prevent and manage illness.
“Protecting the health and safety of Project workers and local communities, as well as the environment in which Project-related activities occur is a core value for the Project,” said Ms Autin.
As well as supporting local health institutions, the Project has also sent 10 trainees to Dallas, Texas to take part in biomedical equipment repair training for six months with MediSend International.
LNG World News Staff, August 29, 2012