U.S. Embassy, Port Moresby: The U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is raising the capacity to provide medical care in Papua New Guinea. USAID through its Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) partnered with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Inc. to expand the staff housing at the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, in Jiwaka Province.
U.S. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray was in Kudjip on February 18, to commemorate the completion of the project which was funded in part by an $800,000, 2013 USAID/ASHA award. She was joined at the ceremony by partners, Australian AID and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
Ambassador Ebert-Gray made remarks highlighting the significance of such projects. “The United States Government is pleased to be able to support the health care community of Papua New Guinea by providing funding for this much-needed housing project.”
“We know how important it is to be able to attract both U.S. and domestic health care professionals and what an important asset this project will be in that effort,” Ambassador Ebert-Gray said.
She also praised the hospital for its efforts in delivering health care services to the people of PNG and its work towards advancing the skills of local health care workers.
“The Kudjip Nazarene Hospital is raising the standard of care in Papua New Guinea. It is demonstrating the best of American health care practices and is allowing local professionals to improve their medical skills. It is an important legacy of American and Australian assistance to the people of PNG,” said Ambassador Ebert-Gray.
USAID/ASHA Director, Anne Dix also expressed similar sentiments saying, “the work that Kudjip Nazarene Hospital is undertaking is exceptional. The new housing will allow it to continue to attract and retain the highest quality of physicians and nurses.
The recruitment and retention of quality human resources for health in the country is paramount and projects such as this will ensure that these demands are met, also emphasized by the Hospital Administrator Scott Dooley.
“The hospital is the only hope for many who are most in need of medical care in the Jiwaka Province and the PNG Highlands. The assistance from USAID is building station housing, which helps us to retain and recruit high quality local and international staff.” Mr. Dooley said.
Churches play a very important role in health services delivery in Papua New Guinea, especially in the rural areas. They account for almost half of all the health services delivered in the country. It is important that government and churches work together with shared commitment in delivering health services.