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Dear Friends,

2019 is well underway. Australian Doctors International (ADI) Program Manager Yaman Kutlu and incoming Western Province volunteer Dr Charles Coventry have departed for PNG. This represents the start of our health outreach patrols from Kiunga. We are privileged to have alumni ADI Dr Margaret Purcell joining the trip for the initial part of Dr Charles’ posting. Dr Margaret has lived and worked in Western Province with ADI numerous times since 2002. Her knowledge is a great asset to our team’s work!

One of the emerging problems our team will face in not just Western Province, but also in New Ireland, is a disease many Australians may never have encountered before – leprosy. Below is a short report on this frightening new development in the region.

Photo: Program Manager Yaman Kutlu and volunteer Dr Charles Coventry

In Other News…

  • Over in New Ireland, we have been planning patrols for 2019 and reviewing our data collection plan. Our first patrol for 2019 will be leaving next week for Sentral West, an area in considerable need of healthcare services.
  • We also welcome Devlyn Olan to ADI’s team based in Kavieng in PNG. We are excited to have her on the team taking on the role of ADI National Maternal Health and Family Planning Coordinator.
  • In March, an ADI team is undertaking a scoping trip to West New Britain. This will involve meeting key health partners in the area to discuss ADI’s involvement as well as undertaking a ‘mini patrol’ to gain baseline data and determine the particular health needs of this region. West New Britain Province presents an exciting new opportunity for ADI and we look forward to potentially extending our services here.
  • ADI CEO Klara Henderson has been invited to speak at the National Rural Health Conference in Hobart on 27th March at 11:25am. If you are at the conference, please come and introduce yourself to Klara. Speaking at the conference is a great opportunity for ADI to meet with Australian rural doctors who may want a volunteer placement in PNG with ADI. You can follow what’s happening using the hashtag #ruralhealthconf.
  • If you would like to get involved with helping ADI to raise funds, we’d love to hear from you! We are currently developing resources and ideas to help you get started. For more information, please send us an email.
  • Finally, we have an opening in our Sydney office for an enthusiastic, savvy and diligent part-time Finance and Operations Manager (3 days a week/flexible). For more information on this role, please visit our website.

Along with our newsletter, you can keep up to date with the work we are doing in PNG via Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in or download a copy of our 2017/18 Annual Report. Just click on the icons below to see our social media pages. We would love for you to follow, like, comment and share our posts as to help us build our network of supporters for this important work we do in PNG.

Klara Henderson, Australian Doctors International CEO
Donate Now – Support Us To Support PNG Communities

Leprosy in PNG 

In the year 2000, the Government of Papua New Guinea declared leprosy eliminated. Sadly, the bacterial disease has returned to the region. Today, our volunteer doctors are out on the frontline reporting on, diagnosing and treating leprosy in New Ireland and Western Province, as pictured above.

Leprosy can take years or sometimes even decades to incubate so in reality, it never really went away in PNG. It is a terrible disease which, if not caught early, can disfigure and cause permanent disability. It is predominantly women and children who are most affected in PNG.

Leprosy is contagious and spread via sneezing, coughing, sharing cups or not washing hands. In rural PNG families live in tight knit units often in poorly ventilated housing making conditions ideal for the spread of this disease.

Leprosy treatment is not straight forward – it requires a combination of drug therapy, with WHO recommending patients visit a health clinic at least once a month over the 6 or 12 month treatment period. A person with leprosy can become non-contagious within 48 hours and completely cured after six to 12 months if they adhere to this treatment program. The problem is that restricted access to transport and communication is hampering patients’ efforts to obtain diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, while there are stockpiles of effective drugs available in the larger cities, for those living in the remote and very remote regions that ADI service, access to these life changing drugs remain limited. This means that those carrying the disease remain infectious and the leprosy bacteria continues to destroy lives causing irreversible damage such as the curled up ‘leper’s claws’, facial disfigurement and permanent physical disability.

In 2019, ADI is making an increased effort to get all those in our patrol catchment areas on the multidrug therapy they need. If you would like to support the work of ADI, working to improve the lives of people affected by leprosy in PNG, please consider making a tax deductible donation today.


Australian Doctors International (ADI) receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).



Dear Friends,

Photo: premature twins check up.

In September ADI’s Dr Matt Kelly undertook a pilot patrol to a new area for our patrols – into the northern part of Western Province called Mougulu. Dr Matt Kelly, along with partners from Callan Health Services and Griffith University saw over 300 patients finding health concerns in the community of malnutrition, respiratory disease, including tuberculosis and gaps in immunisation coverage. Since then we’ve also been working with our partners on the ground to respond the immunisation needs in relation to the polio outbreak.



In Other News…

  • Over in New Ireland we currently have 48 participants undergoing a two-week emergency obstetrics training course with partners Heart to Heart International, covering topics ranging from antenatal care through to how to manage complications in labour such as shoulder dystocia. Training healthcare workers in these skills contributes to addressing PNG’s maternal mortality rate.
  • If you’d like to learn a little bit more about living in PNG and meet the people ADI and our partners provide healthcare services to, take a look at Gapfinders dollarstreet for PNG. This tool allows you to visualise and learn about life in PNG – life is very simple, living on $45 a month with no savings, collecting wood for cooking and water for drinking with no electricity. These are the people we reach in remote communities to provide much needed health services.
  • Some recent data out from PNGIMR is showing a rise in malaria prevalence, something ADI is seeing more of in our patrols, particularly New Ireland (prevalence 8.7%).


ADI with ACFID for the SpotLight on the Code:

Last month ACFID invited us to participate in the Spotlight on the Code series focusing on Quality Principle: Resource Management. The video is here if you’re interested. At the end of this month ADI is also hosting a panel discussion – Women’s Rights to Health Care Access in PNG: Tackling the Worst Maternal Mortality Rate in the Region – at the ACFID 2018 conference. On the panel there is a stellar line-up of speakers ranging from those on the front line of health to academia. Please join us if you can.

Along with our newsletter, you can keep up to date with the work we are doing in PNG via Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in. Just click on the icons below to see our pages. We would love for you to follow, like and comment on our posts as we share the work we do and build our network.

Klara Henderson, Australian Doctors International CEO
Donate Now – Support Us To Support PNG Communities


Social Events

Many thanks to the wonderful supporters who attended the Annual Gala Fundraising Dinner held this month. The event was attended by friends, donors and previous ADI volunteers – it was a chance to hear about the work ADI does on the ground as well as raise funds to allow us to continue our work in PNG. If you weren’t able to attend but would still like to donate, please click here.


ADI 2018 Gala Dinner

ADI Upcoming Events

  • ADI’s annual general meeting is coming up – 15 November, please see details here. Our annual report for 2017/18 will be released at this meeting.
  • ACFID Conference – ADI will be joining colleagues at the upcoming ACFID conference 30-31 October at UNSW. We are hosting a session on Women’s rights to health care access in PNG. Looking forward to seeing ACFID and NGO colleagues there

Australian Doctors International (ADI) receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).



Dear Friends,

Does anyone read GatesNotes – the blog from Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates? I can highly recommend them to you. Gates, always the innovator, continues to push the limits of what we – the global health community – can achieve in terms of universal access to health and balancing out health inequalities. Recently he posted two great pieces that directly link to the work ADI is doing in Papua New Guinea.

The first was an article on the MetaFridge and the Indigo Cooler – both of which keep vaccines cold for up to 5 days with no ice or batteries. In PNG vaccination is hot topic as – frighteningly – we are beginning to see the re-emergence of Polio cases! Far from the target for DTP3 coverage of 80%, PNG is sitting on 62% – and we know the measles vaccine coverage in Namatanai is as low as 35%. Both polio and DTP vaccines need refrigeration. ADI does immunisations on patrols when we can – in Western Province alone we immunised 700 children (over half of them girls) in the last year. ADI continues to seek to improve our methods of reaching those almost out of reach. We watch with interest the development and implementation of ground breaking innovations such as the Metafridge and the Indigo Cooler to see how they might help ADI to improve our immunisation coverage during remote area patrols in the future.

Another project of note in Gates’ blog is a community healthcare worker training program in Liberia. The Last Mile program, funded by the Gates Foundation, offers training and equips workers with the tools they need to deliver basic health care in remote areas of war-torn Liberia. This best practise model is very similar to the work ADI has been doing successfully for some time now in PNG. As a result of investing in training for local rural health care workers, ADI have seen real and measurable improvements in health outcomes for Papua New Guineans living in very remote regions.

Our newest Volunteer Doctor in PNG, Dr Matt Kelly
Our newest Volunteer Doctor in PNG, Dr Matt Kelly

In Other News…

  • Dr Matt Kelly (pictured above) is now on patrol with ADI and our Western Province partners, servicing the very remote communities of Iowara where TB is a significant health issue.
  • We have also released our Western Province 6 monthly report. Key findings include reaching over 22 remote villages and a continuing resolve to focus on maternal health. If you would like a copy of this report, please email us.
  • Over in New Ireland, Dr Yen Lim is sharing her experiences via this blog. Please take a moment to read about the important work she is doing in PNG.

The work we do in PNG is only possible thanks to your ongoing financial support. On behalf of all those families and communities whose lives are changed as a result of your generosity – we thank you!

Klara Henderson, Australian Doctors International CEO
Donate Now – Support Us To Support PNG Communities

ADI Fundraising Night at Seaforth Bowling Club

Social Events

Thanks to those of who joined the Cabaret evening – 140 guests in total! It was an example of extraordinary cooperation of well-meaning people to put the event together for the benefit of ADI and the people ADI works with in PNG. The generosity of the Seaforth Bowling Club, the musicians and singers was much appreciated, as was the support from sponsors (Goldbergs Lawyers, LJ Hooker Seaforth, Harbourside Massage). Such cooperation meant funds raised could be directed wholly towards the work of ADI. James Griffin MP Member for Manly, was the guest speaker – many thanks to him.


Are you a doctor or nurse interested in a PNG placement?
OR do you know someone who is interested?

We are currently recruiting for doctors – and now nurses too – to work with us in PNG. Please see details here. One of our previous doctors, Dr Ian Hunter, shared his experience with ADI post his studies at LSHTM on their blog.

With your help we can achieve great outcomes in rural and remote parts of PNG. Take the step to see where this adventure can take you or let your network know if they’re interested. Visit our website to find out more

ADI Upcoming Events

  • Our annual fundraising dinner is on Friday 19th October 2018 at 6.30pm at Manly Golf Club. Bookings are now open – please make your booking here, Tickets $130. We’d be interested to hear from you if you have auction items you’d like to donate for auction on the evening. We already have some great items donated – thank you. Please email or call Linda on: or +61-2-99078988 to discuss.
  • ACFID Conference – ADI will be joining colleagues at the upcoming ACFID conference 30-31 October at UNSW. We are hosting a session on Women’s rights to health care access in PNG. Looking forward to seeing ACFID and NGO colleagues there.

Australian Doctors International (ADI) receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).




Copyright © 2018 Australian Doctors International, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 324, Seaforth NSW 2092, Australia

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Dear Friend,
As we draw to the end of the financial year you may have seen our call for your assistance to our work through financial contributions. We make every effort to perform our work efficiently and effectively, to really maximise the financial contributions we receive – we use volunteers, we partner with local NGOs and health service providers to leverage their skills and focus on contributing only where we see a genuine gap – to make our impact stretch further. We are not a big world-renown NGO, rather we are uniquely Australian focusing on caring for our nearest neighbour.

Please consider making a generous donation today.


All gifts of $2 or more are tax deductible. Please make sure we receive your donation by 30th June 2018 so you can claim it as a tax deduction for this year. You’ll receive a receipt in mid July to help you with your tax return. Simply donate online at or call (02) 9907 8988.

On behalf of all those we support in Papua New Guinea, thank you for your support.

Latest News…

Dr Roeland Kraan in Western Province

Since we were last in touch Dr Roeland Kraan in Western Province has been out on four Horizon Oil boat patrols with Catholic Health staff along the Fly River while fellow ADI doctors and our partners from the Provincial Health Authority in New Ireland have also been using boats for their most recent patrols to the small islands off Tikana and Konagali West.

Pedal4PNG bike riders for ADIPedal4PNG

We have also taken 8 bike riders down the coastal road of New Ireland on our inaugural fundraising trip. Riders included staff from BD, DFAT Port Moresby and others interested to see first-hand the health system and ADI’s contribution to it as well as all being up for a physical challenge!

Their muscle power got them through the 260 kilometres, heat and hills, and their fund raising support brought vital funds to ADI’s frontline health programs.

Dr Yen Lim preparing to volunteer in PNGDr Yen Lim – New ADI Volunteer Doctor

This week ADI and Dr Yen Lim have been working together preparing for her upcoming posting to New Ireland, she’ll be departing in a few short weeks. Fortunately she was able to join ADI’s Sydney office – giving thanks to our team of volunteers as we acknowledged all volunteer contributions to ADI during National Volunteer  Week.

Dr Yen Lim’s mother – a single-handed GP – inspired Yen to pursue a medical career. Yen trained in Scotland and has been working in Australia as a GP since 2013. She gets great satisfaction from dealing with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds and ethnicities working in Sydney’s western suburbs. She has a clinical focus on women’s health, family planning, antenatal care and paediatrics. She is not a stranger to PNG having made numerous trips there over the last few years for both pleasure and medical volunteering. We welcome Yen to our team.


In both Western Province and New Ireland our doctors and patrol teams are alert to identifying new cases of TB. We can see up to 20 suspected cases of TB on any patrol. TB doesn’t discriminate between adults and children, and an excellent paper by Dr Watch et al (2017) found a substantial burden of TB in hospitalised children in PNG with high case fatality rates. The paper highlights the problems in the health care system for systematically tackling TB:

  • low (and declining immunisation) coverage of the BCG vaccine against TB and leprosy;
  • bottlenecks with procurement of drugs, and
  • difficulty in implementing the TB treatment (directly observed short-course).

Amongst this gloomy news is a recent positive message of diagnosis, treatment and recovery of a young boy with TB from ADI’s Dr Roeland. Dr Roeland found and diagnosed a young boy from Guisuke (with an unusual presentation of extrapulmonary TB). Dr Roeland arranged for treatment and after four months we now know the young boy from Guisuke is making an excellent recovery. ADI patrol teams put themselves on the frontline to find those cases and close the gaps in the health system where we can.

Earlier this month ADI and friends reflected on our time in Western Province, with Brent Emmett, Anne Lanham and Dr Roeland Kraan sharing their insights during an evening presentation on: From 2001 to today | From bednets to births | ADI in Western Province. Thank you to those that joined us, it was a great learning opportunity.

Pictured here – ‘Bulimbbaby’
(Photo from our archives:
2007 in Western Province

Dr Penny Uther ADI Volunteer Doctors returns

Dr Penny Uther will return from PNG at the end of July. If you’d like to hear her talk about her time there, please see the event Women’s Plans Foundation is hosting – 2 August, State Library of NSW. Get tickets here.

Could we encourage you to ‘Like’ us on Facebook @AustralianDoctorsInternational and follow us on Twitter @ADI_charity? This way we can keep you up to date on events you might be interested in attending and also let you know the latest news from the field.

Thank you again for your support of the work we are doing in PNG,

Klara Henderson
CEO, Australian Doctors International

Upcoming events…

Seaforth Bowling Club Cabaret Evening

Raising Funds for ADI
Saturday Night 14th July.
Dinner from 6pm, show from 7pm.

Hear Dr Penny Uther Speak

ADI’s returning doctor from New Ireland speak at the Women’s Plans Foundation Symposium | Changing the Climate. 

Thursday 2nd August – 12 noon to 2.30pm,
State Library of NSW, Macquarie Room.
Details and bookings here.

Dr Roeland Kraan working with ADI in Western ProvincesADI’s Annual Gala Dinner
Save the Date!

Friday 19th October 2018 from 6.30pm,
Manly Golf Club.

 April 2018 Newsletter



Dear Friend

The last few months have seen much activity in PNG for our team of volunteers. We’ve been keeping abreast of the earthquake response requirements and have our Western Province doctor on stand-by should he be needed – health facilities have been hit hard. While all our staff are safe, our thoughts go to friends, colleagues and neighbours who are dealing with recovery and the hundreds of aftershocks felt in Western Province.

Our team in New Ireland – Dr Penny Uther and Dr Mark Newcombe – were thrilled to be able to meet with Minister Bishop during her March visit.

ADI receives support from DFAT through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program for our patrol work in New Ireland – so it was great to be able to show Minister Bishop first-hand how that funding is being used to create a positive health impact in remote health areas in PNG through Australian partnerships.

Back in Sydney, ADI’s Board and I met in late in March for the annual planning and strategy day, facilitated through the support of The Leading Partnership. Our long time supporter and friend of ADI Lili Koch was recently honoured for her work with us by The Rotary Club of Balgowlah with a Community Service Award. Well done Lili!

As I write we are jointly holding a Family Planning workshop in New Ireland with Marie Stopes PNG. This year we are re-doubling our efforts in family planning, with a view to further training and support to remote health workers. Why? Evidence in literature supports family planning as a tool for reducing maternal mortality, and with PNG’s maternal mortality the highest in the region this is a priority for us.

With my best wishes,

Klara Henderson

Thank You To Our Donors

To recognise the invaluable contribution of many donors and partners to the work of ADI, we created a new page on our website. This will be continually updated. If you’d also like to support our work through a donation, please visit our donation page or call our office on 02 9907 8988.

Calling New Recruits for 2019

ADI is now recruiting for volunteer medical officer and health project coordinator roles in PNG starting in early 2019.

Could 2019 be your year to help our closest neighbours in PNG and explore a new career opportunity?

Based on ADI Doctors’ Questionnaire, November 2017, this is what past doctors said about the experience:

  • Volunteering for ADI leads to positive career outcomes as it “helps individual growth due to the challenge. This can only help on return to a practice situation. I think peers respect immensely those on return from a volunteer situation.”
  • Volunteering for ADI “brings so much clinical experience and confidence, experience in education of the public and health workers, greater flexibility and reliance on clinical skills and a deeper understanding of global health issues.”

With your help we can achieve great outcomes in rural and remote parts of PNG. Take the step to see where this adventure can take you or let your network know if they’re interested.

Simply visit our website to find out more and apply by 30 April 2018

ADI Upcoming Events

April and May are set to include key events for ADI. ADI’s Board members – Anne, Peter and George will be attending the 34th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum & Trade Expo on 30 April. If you’re also attending please come by and say hello.

In May we’re holding our inaugural fundraising bike ride along New Ireland’s coastline. We have riders in training and our new incoming Health Coordinator George Barrett will lead the group. If you’d like to join us, it’s not too late, please drop us an email at

Looking ahead, here are some other events to mark in your diary:

  • 14 July – Seaforth Bowling Club cabaret charity evening
  • 2 August – Women’s Plans Foundation Symposium at The State Library of NSW
  • 19 October – ADI Gala Dinner

 February 2018 Newsletter


Dear Friend

Welcome to the ADI newsletter.  We’d like to use this to keep in touch with you to let you know what we are doing both in Australia and PNG.

2018 is well underway and I started as the new CEO in mid- January. While this is a new role for me, I’ve been a longtime affiliate of ADI, joining the Program Committee in 2014. It’s exciting to join the excellent team at ADI in this role and continue with ADI’s innovative and challenging work on the frontline of remote health. On 14 February I joined the Australasian Aid Conference to share ideas that promote access to health. I look forward to opportunities like this to meet and collaborate with others working in the health sector in low resource settings.

Klara Henderson

Dr-Roeland-Kraan-ADI Volunteer in Western Province PNG
Dr-Roeland-Kraan-ADI Volunteer in Western Province PNG

Doctor Deployment to Western Province

Fresh from his Christmas break and deployment in New Ireland last year, Dr Roeland Kraan is now in Western Province (since the beginning of February 2018).  He is the 37th doctor we have sent to Western Province. If you are interested in an overseas placement, please see details here: volunteer.

A summary of ADI’s 2017 results in PNG are available here.

Becton Dickinson Lend their Support to ADI

ADI relies on the support of many individuals and donors. Recently Yaman Kutlu (PNG Country Program Manager) and Nora Duggan (Marketing and Communications Advisor) attended an event with Becton Dickinson (BD), a long term supporter of ADI.  At the event Christine Bligh of BD presented Yaman with a cheque of $8,500 to support our doctors to deliver health care services and upskill local health care workers in remote PNG. This comes on top of a successful BD trip to New Ireland with ADI in September-October to conduct an in-service on Infection Control. You can support ADI too by donating via our website.  Donate >

Training Front Line Healthcare Workers

Dr Rose Haywood and Dr Agnes De Boer ADI Volunteer Doctors on Patrol in Papua New Guinea
Dr Rose Haywood and Dr Agnes De Boer ADI Volunteer Doctors on Patrol in Papua New Guinea


ADI Volunteers Dr Rose Haywood and Dr Agnes De Boer with their health team in PNGTraining front line healthcare workers is growing in importance as a recognised mechanism to achieving universal health care. A recently published paper in Rural and Remote Health charts the history of community health workers (CHW) – now numbering 5,000 and representing 50% of the health workforce in PNG, and the training they are given. CHWs have a crucial role in delivering health services in rural and remote PNG communities. ADI works closely with CHWs in New Ireland and Western Province.

ADI In The Press

It was great to read the feature article of four-time volunteers Dr Bruce and Gayle Slonim in their local press –
Working Towards a Healthier New Ireland.   Read More >

Become a Member

ADI membership costs just $25 per year and that contribution allows you to show your year-round support for our work in PNG.

In return you’ll receive a special members’ welcome pack, our e-newsletter delivered to your inbox, updates on fundraising events, an invitation to our Annual General Meeting in November, invites to returning doctor’s presentations, a chance to input into our organisation, and much more. Take steps to become a member today.  Read More >