Oil Search Foundation Provides Life-saving Vaccines to Children in Remote Communities

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Protecting children against preventable disease is one of the most important health services for any child anywhere in the world and Papua New Guinea is no exception.

The Oil Search Foundation (OSF) has been taking the initiative to partner with the National Department of Health, Provincial and District Health authorities, and faithbased organisations to provide the needed immunisations against life-threatening diseases to the children in remote communities in Hela, Southern Highlands and Gulf Provinces.

According to a press release today, OSF facilitated a number of patrols to remote areas of Southern Highlands, Hela and Gulf to provide 1600 vaccinations to children over an eight week period.

The patrols provided an avenue for Health Team to include other services such as eye and dental care, maternal checks and the delivery of basic health care.

“It is a lot easier to get to facilities and villages that have roads, but we cannot ignore the communities in remote areas where roads are just a dream,” said Ingrid Glastonbury, OSF Head of Health.

“Every child deserves health care and OSF has the logistics power and the commitment to help get these services to them.”

EMTV understands a team of seven health care professionals including doctors from Mendi Provincial Hospital immunised more than 200 children and provided services to more than 500 people in the Bosavi Mission Station, Walagu and Wasoweido villages in Hela and the Southern Highlands.

Walagu Sub Health Centre local nurse, Mike Hawi, expressed his gratitude saying he is happy that the Oil Search Foundation has come bringing along the partner Evangelical Church PNG.

OSF supported a sea patrol to the four Middle Turama villages of Faia, Komaio, Sagari and Sorobo in Gulf province.

It was reported that 750 vaccines were given to children and 300 people were provided with much-needed basic health care.

OSF is also working with the Province to rehabilitate and reopen the Komaio Health Sub Centre which has not been operating for years.

On their third trip to these remote places of Gulf, OSF and District partners traveled by helicopter to the remote Foroba Mountains in Gulf Province where more than 600 vaccinations were provided to children of the surrounding villages and communities.

“This remote location does not see health workers very often and their excitements when the helicopter lands are evident in all their faces,” Ms. Glastonbury explained.

“This third visit in less than twelve months means that we have now fully protected nearly all of the children. We will be back again to protect the next generation of babies.”

The Oil Search Foundation works closely with the local, district and provincial health authorities and other health service providers like ECPNG to provide logistical support to facilitate such outreach programs in some of the remotest parts of PNG.

Joanita Nonwo

is a contributor with EMTV Online, specialising in international stories relating to development, environment and gender equality, all within a Papua New Guinean context.

Joanita Nonwo

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