U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Erin McKee today led the handover ceremonies of medical equipment and commodities to boost the government of Papua New Guinea’s response and mitigation efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 16 clinics spread across the three electorates in the National Capital District will benefit from the U.S. government assistance, which includes infrared thermometers, screening booths, digital TV screens, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers.
The assistance is part of the U.S. government’s nearly PGK 12 million (US $3.5 million) investment, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in PNG.
“The U.S. government is committed to helping Papua New Guinea strengthen its health system to overcome this global pandemic, to protect communities, and to build the resilience needed to manage future health crises,” Ambassador McKee said.
“The provincial health authority is doing everything possible to protect the people of Papua New Guinea and respond to the epidemic. We are grateful for the support provided by the U. S. government,” said Dr. Jerry Tanumei, Acting CEO of the National Capital District Provincial Health Authority.
Through USAID’s COVID-19 Response project, the U.S. government has been working with PNG government counterparts and donor partners to implement activities that strengthen PNG’s health care system to prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The United States has invested over $108 million in total in Papua New Guinea over the past 20 years, including more than $52 million for health.