Port Moresby, 22 August 2019 – A donation of much needed essential medical equipment and consumables that was handed over to the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority today will help boost maternal and new born care in Western Highlands Province.
This equipment has been generously donated by a wonderful private foundation in Australia who support projects around the world. The delivery of the equipment has been supported by RAWCS and Edan.
“Our government is focused on reducing the high maternal and neonatal mortality rates. The situation which has been the case for far too long is unacceptable and it is time we do things differently. No women should die while giving life and every baby born is a life we should fight to save,” Health and HIV AIDS Minister, Hon. Elias Kapavore stressed when handing over the donation during a small gathering at Health Facility Branch in Port Moresby.
“Essential equipment like these will go a long way to ensuring our mothers and babies receive the best care they need to ensure they survive and thrive,” Minister Kapavore added.
The donation, made possible through negotiations with donor agencies in Australia by UNICEF Australia as part of the Saving Lives-Spreading Smiles programme, includes two portable ultrasound machines, four vital signs monitors, two electrocardiograph (ECG) machines, two patient monitors, seven lifebox handheld pulse oximeters, two sonotrax foetal dopplers, two suction units, six infusion pumps, 21 silicon resuscitators for both adults and children and five finger oximeters.
Minister Kapavore acknowledged the support provided by development partners and thanked DAK Foundation for the donation made at a time when the country was facing economic difficulties.
“I am happy that Western Highlands Province is receiving this equipment because Mt Hagen Hospital being a regional referral hospital is always busy and needs such equipment to screen, monitor and treat its patients, the Minister added.
Speaking on behalf of DFAT Australia, an important partner supporting the Saving Lives Spreading Smiles programme with funding support of K9 million, Australia's High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, HE Mr. Bruce Davis said: “We are very keen to be an active player in all aspects of this health work, and we strongly support the Papua New Guinean Government’s own efforts in ensuring appropriate health services are provided to improve overall health indicators”.
“UNICEF is pleased to mobilize support and provide technical assistance to promote life-saving practices to help reduce the high rate of maternal and neonatal death in this country,” UNICEF Representative, David Mcloughlin said.
Mcloughlin added that all efforts would be made to look after the equipment in order to benefit all who seek care.
Chief Executive Officer for WHPHA, David Vorst when accepting the donation, thanked UNICEF for its efforts in advocating with donors to support health services in PNG, particularly in Western Highlands Province.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Papua New Guinea, visit https://www.unicef.org/png/