Deteriorating health infrastructure continues to plague rural areas in East New Britain province.
The Gaulim Health Center in the inland Baining LLG of Gazelle District, about an hour’s drive out of Kokopo town, is one rural health facility that is in need of repair.
The clinic buildings and staff houses are slowly crumbling and medical supplies don’t always arrive on time.
The health centre serves more than five wards living in the LLG but is a facility in need of repair.
At the outpatient, the walls and the floors are partially gone.
Next to the outpatient building is a new maternity wing, opened in 2016.
But it hasn’t been fully utilized as the building was rendered unfit to deliver pregnant mothers.
George Apa, a community health worker attached to the health centre tells EMTV news, both the clinic buildings and staff houses have fallen into a state of disrepair, with many of them already condemned but still being used.
And medical supplies rarely arrive on time at the health center.
Until recently there were signs of help coming to the health facility, slowly but surely.
At least two staff houses are currently undergoing renovations and the condemned outpatient building is expected to be rehabilitated in the coming months.
Like anywhere else in Papua New Guinea, accessing basic health services remains the main struggle for the people in rural areas.
The Gaulim Health Centre is a church-run facility managed by the United Church and the Gazelle District Administration through the Public-Private Partnership concept.
It is one facility in the province where staff members have publicly spoken out about the state of the facility.
But there are many other health facilities in the province with similar problems who have not come out to speak about it.
By Edwin Fidelis – EMTV News – Kokopo