PNG LNG Partners with Institute of Medical Research to Fund Lab Upgrade

PNG LNG Partners with Institute of Medical Research to Fund Lab Upgrade

The next generation of Papua New Guinean scientists will benefit from an advanced laboratory dedicated to diagnostics funded in part by the PNG LNG Project.

As part of the PNG LNG Project’s efforts to improve the health of families and communities around the country, the Project has partnered with the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research to improve the quality of medical research and diagnostic capabilities in PNG through the construction and outfitting of new laboratory facilities.

The PNG LNG Project has committed K1.3 million (US$607,000) to fund the upgrade of the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences biomedical laboratory in Port Moresby. Managed by the Institute of Medical Research with support from the School of Medicine, the laboratory will provide advanced training for Papua New Guinean scientists along with rapid and timely diagnoses of emerging infectious disease epidemics such as cholera and pneumonia. Refurbishment of the laboratory commenced this March and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2012.

The PNG LNG Project is committed to investing in sustainable health projects in Papua New Guinea to help address the health challenges affecting the country,” said Peter Graham, Managing Director of Esso Highlands Limited, the operator of the PNG LNG Project. “The laboratory will enable Papua New Guinean scientists to work alongside students from the university to help improve diagnostic capability and support the National Department of Health with reliable information and data for planning and decision making,” Graham said.

The laboratory will also provide accurate diagnosis of surveillance samples making it a critical component of the Integrated Health Demographic Surveillance System. Incorporating all PNG LNG Project-impacted areas, the Integrated Health Demographic Surveillance System is a community health program that provides health delivery services for communicable diseases including sexually transmitted diseases and HIV / AIDS.

The PNG LNG Project and Esso Highlands Limited actively support other public health initiatives in PNG. The Esso Highlands Community Health Impact Management Program has helped train more than 20 workers in emergency care in Komo, supported more than 20 health care students training in Mendi, and donated equipment to the Kikori Hospital to assist with both tuberculosis and malaria diagnosis. The program has also provided scholarships to 25 health sciences students studying at Divine Word University.

LNG World News Staff, April 10, 2012

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