Thursday 1 April 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Japan have agreed to work in partnership to support Papua New Guinea’s continuing COVID-19 preparedness and response.
The Government of Japan is providing just over US$2.7 million (US$2,727,272) to be used by WHO to contribute to building a more resilient health system and mitigate the health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea.
The funds will be used to:
- Strengthen institutional capacity at national and provincial level to plan, mitigate and respond to COVID-19 through capacity building, partnerships and collaborations,
- Strengthen community engagement and ownership of the COVID-19 response through local partnerships with communities, civil society and youth, and
- Improve infection prevention and control practices at health facilities to prevent surges of cases, and protect health workers and patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the critical role of strong health systems for stopping transmission, and for social and economic wellbeing.
A statement from WHO and the Embassy of Japan, said, the devastating impact of the pandemic is a reminder of the need for countries to continue to strengthen their health systems, making the right investments now for a safer and healthier future.
“This support from the Government of Japan will enable WHO to work with the Government of Papua New Guinea and development partners to strengthen the health system and bring the COVID-19 response closer to the people of Papua New Guinea, most of whom live in rural areas, far from hospitals and major health facilities,” said WHO Officer-in-charge in Papua New Guinea, Ms Anna Maalsen.
She thanked the government of Japan for their timely support, particularly in a time where PNG is experiencing a surge in cases which has started to stress existing local health care capacity.
The interventions in this partnership are designed to be people-centred, context-specific, locally grounded and prevention-oriented responses that strengthen the protection and empowerment of the PNG people.
The Government of Japan has been a strong supporter of WHO’s work in the Western Pacific for many years in various programs and technical areas of work.
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Mr Kuniyuki Nakahara stated that “The Government of Japan has provided PNG with health and medical equipment (equivalent to 900 million yen) such as X-ray machines, CT scanners, and blood gas analyzers since last year.
In addition, the Government of Japan will support institutional and human capacity building by contributing to WHO this time. The Embassy of Japan hopes that this support will build on from the previous one to exert synergistic effects.”