Saturday 6 June 2020
Papua New Guinea’s health system today received the first batch of six much needed ventilators as part of the country’s COVID-19 preparedness strategy and continuing efforts to strengthen the health system into the future.
Made possible through the collaborative efforts of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF, these ventilators will bolster the nation’s investment in building frontline health systems capacity. The six are the first batch of 30 such ventilators scheduled to be delivered to Papua New Guinea.
In the immediate term, the six new ventilators add to Papua New Guinea’s capacity to treat possible future and acute COVID-19 cases.
Longer-term, this equipment will enhance the health systems capacity to support those requiring intensive treatment for acute respiratory and other life threatening illnesses.
In receiving the ventilators today at Jackson’s International Airport, UNDP’s Resident Representative, Mr Dirk Wagener said, “Effective health systems are critical. These ventilators are life-saving. They will help many people now and into the future across the country. They will build the capacity of the national system for all Papua New Guineans. UNDP and UNICEF have been proud to lead this health procurement process in support of the Government of Papua New Guinea.”
The procurement of these ventilators has been even more remarkable considering the impacts of the current global pandemic on supply chains. The ability of the United Nations to procure such equipment only reiterates its capacity to deliver in times of crisis for the people of Papua New Guinea.
For UNICEF’s Representative Mr David Mcloughlin, the receipt of this first batch of ventilators marks a particularly important opportunity. “Papua New Guinea continues to struggle with lifting its health indicators.
“Children remain amongst the most at risk. The procurement of these ventilators signals an important step towards building the life-saving capacity of the health system to support everyone and particularly the most vulnerable.
“Today’s delivery again highlights the real value-add of organisations such as UNICEF and UNDP. I would, in particular, like to thank the Government of New Zealand for their contribution.” said Mr Mcloughlin.
Mr Mcloughlin and Mr Wagener were today joined by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Jelta Wong and other senior National Department of Health Officials.
Delivery of the remaining ventilators and necessary accessories is expected over the coming months.