By Linus Tatamas, student at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), Fiji
I enrolled at the Australia-Pacific Technical College because I wanted to help my community.
That might seem an unusual reason – most people return to study to upgrade their professional qualifications, and of course I am doing that as well – but my main motive is to do what I can for the people of Bougainville where I come from. To explain why, I need to add some background.
Bougainville youth worker and APTC student Linus Tatamas (right) at the APTC’s Suva campus with fellow student Patteson Bololo of the Solomon Islands.
By Benson Tegia, Project Officer, PNG Assembly for Disabled People and Natalie Stephens, Senior Program Officer, Nossal Institute for Global Health
The National Day of Disability is always a big day for us at the PNG Assembly for Disabled People. This year, on top of the sports, theatre and music performances by people with disability, we also celebrated the launch of disability-inclusive road development guidelines that mark a major milestone for people with disability in PNG.
Flooding and potholes make it difficult for people with disability to use road infrastructure.
The Road Improvement for Disabled People Guidelines were launched by Anna Solomon, Secretary of Department of Community Development along with the Secretary of Department of Transport, Roy Mumu. The presence of senior policy makers at the launch shows the growing support for disability-inclusive development issues, including for road infrastructure development.
By Dr Geoff Clark, Program Director for Health and HIV, AusAID PNG
World AIDS Day is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the changing shape of
the epidemic and the response, in PNG and world wide.
As medical science advances it seems that there is light at the end of a tunnel. Scientists are hopeful of finding a cure, and in laboratory research they are beginning to see the possibilities for drugs that could eradicate HIV from a person’s body completely. However, going from tests in laboratories to drug trials in real people takes a long time. In the meantime, the antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs we have now in PNG are our current ‘miracle drugs’—if used correctly they save lives and restore health.
By Professor Trevor Duke, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne
I have seen many improvements in child health in Papua New Guinea in the 15 years that I have been working with the health system there, led by committed young paediatricians who have designed and implemented a national plan for child health.
The PNG Paediatric Society, Health Department and University of PNG representatives at the review of the Child Health Plan, September 2012. Photo: Trevor Duke, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne
As a member of the National Child Health Advisory Committee and the Paediatric Society, I was part of a review held in September to assess whether this plan is on track. At that meeting, leaders in child health presented strong evidence of progress in the most challenging of problems.
By Anna Awasa, former Assistant Project Manager, AusAID
It’s morning at Mingende Rural Hospital in Simbu Province, Papua New Guinea. In a light, airy room halfway down the corridor two women have just given birth. Both mothers are well, their babies plump, pink, wrinkled; one asleep, the other nuzzling at his mother’s breast, already hungry.
A community health worker conducts a dried blood spot test for diagnosis of HIV in babies of 6 weeks or more. Photo: Anna Awasa
Mingende is run by the National Catholic Health Services – Papua New Guinea. They run nearly a third of all the health services in the country. The four nurses on duty in this labour ward have stitched, set up drips, sterilised, weighed, cleaned up blood, administered antibiotics, painkillers, vaccines, checked temperatures, and urged a mother to “Push! push strong! bebi blong yu bai kam klostu!” (Push! Keep pushing! Your baby is nearly here!), all before most people have breakfast.