Tuesday, 16 April 2024

    Catholic Health funds PPE for PNG

    Catholic Health Australia members said they will match Caritas Australia’s funding to bring the total amount raised to over $500,000 to fight COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea, the Catholic Leader reports.

    It amounted to an immediate injection of $270,000 earmarked for urgent distribution of personal protective equipment in remote areas.

    At the start of the pandemic in March last year, Caritas Australia purchased $250,000 worth of PPE and partnered with Caritas PNG to distribute to 19 dioceses, which reached 235 health facilities and an estimated 1,462 health workers.

    CCHS PNG program manager Graham Apian said the help was desperately needed.

    “There is much uncertainty and fear about COVID-19 leading to community discrimination,” Mr Apian said.

    “We have seen disruption to the normal supply of goods and services. The health facilities we have will be forced to close if there is a shortage of PPE.”

    PNG faces a potentially catastrophic outbreak of COVID-19, with nearly 100 new cases reported daily.

    On 25 March 2021, 551 new cases were confirmed, bringing the country’s total to 4,660 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

    However, numbers are thought to be significantly higher than this and the situation is expected to become much worse.

    There is currently a lack of available tests as well as long waiting times to receive test results, meaning that there are far more active cases than reported.

    Catholic Health Australia chair John Watkins AM said the PPE would be supplied and distributed in PNG as soon as possible to protect health workers serving their communities.

    “Many workers are now infected and are in quarantine which is affecting health services,” Mr Watkins said.

    “We desperately need to get PPE to remote areas, including items like medical triage tents which are purpose built to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 transfer.


    Catholic Health Australia injects $270,000 into Caritas fund for PPE in PNG as coronavirus cases increase (Catholic Leader)