Photo: OSF Program Supervisor, Nancy Aloitch, HPHA Chief Executive, Dr. Gunzee Gawin and Director, Public Health, Doris Anton checking the fridges and coolers being unloaded at the Hela Provincial Hospital yard.
Immunisation coverage for children in the Hela Province will be boosted with the distribution of vaccine fridges by Oil Search Foundation working in partnership with the Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA).
Earlier this week, OSF handed over 11 vaccine fridges, 22 vaccine cool boxes, 44 vaccine carriers and 11 solar generators with panels to HPHA Chief Executive, Dr Gunzee Gawin and his staff at the Hela Provincial Hospital.
The items worth USD150,000 were bought by the Foundation through a partnership with UNICEF.
“Immunisation is critical to the survival of children but for vaccines to work they must be kept cold. The fridges will help the Hela Provincial Health Authority to vaccinate children across Hela and prevent outbreaks of preventable diseases like measles,” said OSF’s Chief Executive, Kymberley Kepore.
Dr Gunzee Gawin thanked OSF and UNICEF for a great partnership arrangement that enabled the procurement of the vaccine fridges and coolers.
He said this would allow health workers in the province to have a wider reach. “Like many provinces in PNG, Hela has many isolated villages which often results in low immunisation coverage by heath workers.
“These items will go a long way in helping our cold chain activities bring much needed vaccinations to the children of Hela and hopefully improve the health indicators in our province.”
Earlier this year, the Australian Government donated five vaccine fridges to be used in Hela. These added with the recently donated vaccine fridges will support the efforts of everyone to deliver immunisation to the children of Hela Province.
The Oil Search Foundation is also supporting Southern Highlands and Gulf Provinces with similar procurement of vaccine fridges.