Front line health workers involved in the fight against Covid-19 in the Western Highlands have been provided with enhanced training to help them prepare well in case of an outbreak.
The training titled “Training of Health Workers and Managers on Covid-19 Preparedness and Response” was conducted for them at Hotel Kimininga in Mt Hagen over three days from Tuesday, 23rd June to Thursday, 25th June 2020.
Western Highlands Provincial Administrator, Mr Joseph Neng who is also the Chairman of the Provincial Covid-19 Co-ordination Committee officially opened the training workshop.
Funded by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the workshop was conducted jointly by trainers from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority (WHPHA).
More than 20 senior health officers including district health managers, members of the WHPHA senior management, facility officers-in-charge and senior nurses attended the training. Health Authority trainers also attended to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to train others.
Mr David McLoughlin, the UNICEF Country Representative in PNG and Dr Ghanashyam Sethy and the World Health Organisation’s Dr Anup all participated in the opening of the training workshop through Zoom conference.
Mr Neng acknowledged the participation and support of their respective organisations and thanked them not only for their contributions towards the fight against Covid-19 but other health programs as well such as immunisation activities for children.
He said the Government’s prompt action to put a ban on overseas flights and ships entering the country and declaring the state of emergency (SoE) during the peak period of the pandemic had assisted greatly in stopping its spread.
He added that in the Western Highlands, a Covid-19 Co-ordination Committee was formed soon after the declaration of the SoE and its orders were implemented immediately despite the province’s limited financial capacity.
Mr Neng said this action was made possible through the kind assistance of donor agencies and local business houses who helped the WHPHA to set up infrastructure and other necessary facilities at Mt Hagen Hospital to prepare for Covid-19.
He said despite the financial situation, the province had managed to buy the necessary medical equipment, drugs and personal protective equipment and put up the necessary infrastructure and was now ready to manage the first case of Covid-19.
UNICEF Country Representative, David McLoughlin said the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority was ahead in its preparations for Covid-19 as well as training of its staff.
He said as such, this training was conducted to further enhance the knowledge and skills of the staff on their preparedness and response to Covid-19. He went on to say that WHPHA was also the first organisation in the country for this training to be conducted.
Mr McLoughlin said because the training also involved staff from the districts and rural facilities, he wanted the knowledge gained to be cascaded down to these institutions so that everyone knew what to do during a Covid-19 emergency.
He said UNICEF has spent more than K3 million to help the Government purchase medical equipment as well as personal protective equipment and it would continue to support it to improve the lives of everyone in the country.