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NINETEEN PNG Defence Force soldiers undertaking training to join the Long Range Reconnaissance Unit have just completed the practical phase of the Combat Medic’s Course.

The soldiers headed to the Central and Gulf provincial border to practise their new treatment skills on the local community. The soldiers were taught and supervised by four PNGDF medics as well as two Australian Defence Force medical personnel.

In conjunction with the local Catholic Health Service and the District Health Service, the soldiers tended a total of 698 patients along the Akufa River and its tributaries, north-west of Bereina.

The soldiers were based at Akufa and visited by boat and foot the villages of Inaukina, Malipoi, Maipa, Imounga, Ioi, Piunga and Engafa.

They attended to the wounds and diseases as well as assisting with recording pikinini statistics. The local health workers treated people using medicines provided through the recent health centre and aid posts kit distribution supported by AusAID.

Pharmacy “It was great to see the medicine’s from the kits being used in the most hard to reach villages where people need them the most,” said Colin Wiltshire, AusAID’s representative in Central Province. 

"It was a good example of cooperation between the PNGDF, the District Government and the Catholic Health Service and was greatly appreciated by the local people,” Warrant Officer Class Two Dave Turner of the ADF Defence Cooperation Program said.

Source: Australian High Commission, Port Moresby

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