Since March 2020, ADI has been delivering personal protective equipment (PPE), educational materials and medical supplies to support COVID-19 response and prevention efforts in PNG. Working with Provincial Health officials and local partners in all three provinces – New Ireland, Western Province and West New Britain – ADI has maintained its objective of protecting health workers, ensuring continued access to health services, and the provision of community education campaigns.
Kavieng Hospital Nursing Officer, Aruke, and SIC Tati with posters and sanitisers donated by ADI, New Ireland, April 2020
During the March to June period of 2020, ADI focused heavily on implementing activities that supported our overall mission to work for a healthier PNG. This involved purchasing and shipping 5000 N95 masks, 19,000 surgical masks, 1000 face shields, 18,000 pairs of gloves, and 900 protective goggles. Disposable scrubs, bouffant caps, boot covers and sanitation supplies were also provided. In addition, we sought out a priority list of key medical equipment needed to bolster the work of health clinics and health workers in remote areas, and distributed items such as pulse oximeters, digital blood pressure meters, otoscopes and stethoscopes to rural clinics. In all three operational provinces ADI has been in regular contact with Provincial Health Authorities, COVID-19 Taskforces, hospitals, partners and stakeholders to contribute towards a coordinated COVID-19 response.
“We were very glad to have ADI’s PPE to assist in providing Kandrian LLG health workers with their education on COVID-19 preparedness. The trainees were very receptive to the use of PPE and this will provide them with good guidance on infection control not only for COVID-19, but for TB and other health issues facing West New Britain.”
– Jennifer Ravakai, West New Britain Provincial Health Authority
ADI has developed and adopted the following five-point COVID-19 strategy to align our objectives to the PNG National Department of Health’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response:
From January to March 2020 ADI doctors were present in all three operational areas – on outreach health patrols to remote and rural communities to deliver health services and training to local health workers. ADI doctors were urgently returned to Australia in March 2020 following the Australian Government guidance, yet our adoption of new technologies; the skills and wherewithal of our PNG staff meant ADI’s health operations could continue in collaboration with our in-country partners – to bolster our health response through COVID-19 training webinars, equipment supplies, and over 3600 educational posters for community education. PPE and medical supply distribution, COVID-19 awareness, and hygiene and sanitation education have been incorporated into all our future outreach patrol programs, which, despite some limitations due to local lockdowns, have continued to reach rural communities. In collaboration with the Provincial Health Authorities, and other local partners in PNG, between March and October, ten outreach health patrols have been run in New Ireland, five in West New Britain and six in Western Province.
“We have nothing but extreme gratitude for the efforts of ADI. They go out to where the people are, to where the real health problems are; they really go out of their way to ensure our people have access to health services and health education.”
– Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland
With thanks to Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program, New Ireland Provincial Government, West New Britain Provincial Government, Newcrest, Horizon Oil and the Old Dart Foundation for funding support of this work.