From its initial focus on malaria, HIV, and maternal and child health, the Foundation now supports a comprehensive strategy which aligns with PNG’s development priorities. We have shifted our approach to working nationally and provincially with government, donors, the private sector, churches and nongovernment organisations, in partnership, to maximise and leverage resources to achieve systemic and sustainable change.
We do this by working through the PNG Government’s own systems. Partnering with Provincial Health Authorities in Hela and Southern Highlands, and with Gulf Provincial Health, the Foundation is actively facilitating leadership by government to improve financing, rehabilitate infrastructure, build human resource capacity and ensure that health facilities have access to equipment and drugs for front line service delivery at the local level.
The Foundation works with partners to tackle the highest priority health challenges, such as the growing threat of tuberculosis (TB), immunization of children (including polio), supervised deliveries, and unsustainable population growth.
We have worked with donor partners including the Australian Government, UNICEF and WHO to increase immunization rates in all three provinces, with over 68,000 vaccinations administered in 2017, reaching 98% coverage for polio vaccinations in late 2018. We have improved cold chain and power supply to help sustain this immunization effort. We have also supported partner Marie Stopes PNG to deliver family planning services to communities in Kikori and Kutubu LLG and will extend this support into Hela in 2019.
With the support of the Asian Development Bank we are addressing clinical governance and health system management in Hela and Southern
Highlands. In Kikori District and Kutubu LLG we have supported patrols into over 30 remote communities which have had no access to health services for many years. In Kikori and Hela we are strengthening TB diagnosis and treatment. In 2019 we will extend this work into Kutubu.
We are helping to control malaria, especially in Kikori, in a context where malarial rates are increasing nationally.
With the Emergency Controller’s Office we are supporting the restoration of water supplies in health facilities in Hela and Southern Highlands which were damaged during the February 2018 earthquake. Over the next 12 months we will expand our work in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to restoring water supplies in schools and addressing WASH with communities. This effort will help address water borne diseases, reduce diarrheal rates and improve hygiene for women and girls and simultaneously improve the participation rate of women and girls in education.
As we move into 2019 our attention is focused on working with partners and across sectors to ensure communities can access well-functioning health facilities in a safe and secure environment, that health facilities meet national standards, and that more funding is flowing down to health facilities so that nobody misses out on having access to basic health services.
We are especially proud of our early work supporting the transition of Tari District Hospital in late 2015 to being a high performing Provincial Hospital and the launch of the Hela Provincial Health Authority at the end of 2016. OSF, in collaboration with strong leadership from the Provincial Health Authority Board and CEO, we have seen major improvements in health services for the people of Hela.