by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
Salt Nomane Karimui district has signed a three-year contract with Manalos Aviation to carry out rural medical evacuations.
The signing of the MOU happened yesterday at the Chimbu Provincial Government headquarters.
While there aren’t concrete statistics to pinpoint the death rate of mothers and babies during labour, the move is expected to reduce the rate of infant maternal mortality in the electorate.
Chimbu Governor, Noah Kool, said the provincial administration will allocate funding to support the program.
The Karimui-Nomane district authority has allocated around a half a million kina for this year’s program.
It allows Manalos Aviation to have one of its aircrafts, a pilot and nurse at the Kundiawa General Hospital, on standby for medevac calls from Salt Nomane Karimui.
“It’s not remote and isolation, its lack of effort over the years and now we have been able to change that, bringing Manalos Aviation onboard is part of that effort,” said Karimui-Nomane MP, Mogerema Wei.
Mogerema Wei signed the document with Manalos Aviation Chief Executive Officer, Jurgen Ruh, and the Chimbu Governor, Noah Kool.
The Chimbu Provincial Government has pledged to support the program this year or make allocations for next year’s budget.
“So medevac helicopters we really need them to transport people out in times of emergencies,” said Chimbu Governor, Noah Kool.
The Manalos medevac program in Morobe is funded by the Morobe Provincial administration and has been successful. The program has also been successful in Esa’ala district in the Milne Bay Province.
Last month a mother with birth complications, along with her baby, in Morobe’s Menyamya district, were both saved by the medevac team.
Civial Aviation Minister, Davis Steven, who also has the medivac program running in his Esa’ala district was at the signing ceremony. He says his electorate has benefited greatly.
“The best point of contact is the health workers themselves and I am happy to say that in Milne Bay the health workers say that it’s a long time coming and they command the initiative,” said Minister Steven.