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PNGDF medical patrols deliver vital health care in Gulf Province


A baby is immunised in TobarePAPUA NEW GUINEA DEFENCE FORCE soldiers have put combat first aid training into practice by conducting medical clinics in remote villages in Gulf Province.

The majority of the 27 soldiers had just completed a Combat First Aid Course, delivered by the Australian Defence Cooperation Program.

The visit to Gulf Province in mid-November was led by Lieutenant Micha Jeremiah who was assisted by Second Lieutenant Charles Namuesh, the Regimental Medical Officer of Goldie River Training Depot.

Based in Kikori, the soldiers hired boats to travel the Kikori River to the villages of Kabarau, Kopi, Ero, Veraibari, Goari, Bisi, Kiaim and Apeawa.

The Kikori Hospital supported the soldiers by allowing them to stay in vacant staff quarters in the hospital grounds.

One team of soldiers also flew by PNGDF helicopter to the remote mountain villages of Tobare and Negebare, near the border of Southern Highlands Province.

PNGDF soldiers and Communty Health Workers visiting villages in Gulf ProvinceSecond Lieutenant Namuesh said his team provided basic primary health care and preventive health care and distributed treated mosquito nets at villages which lacked primary health care.

 “It was very important to travel to Tobare because the children there hadn’t been immunised for almost five years. The nearest health facility to Tobare is three day’s walk away,” he said.

The soldiers were assisted by Community Health Workers, Rose Augani, Aropo Warato, Timothy Ananias and James Koivi who immunised children and ensured the family planning and child health books were up to date.

The PNGDF medical patrols are conducted annually in a different province every year. Last year the medical patrols were conducted in West New Britain province.

The patrols are sponsored by the Australian Defence Cooperation Program, which supports PNG develop a capable and professional Defence Force. Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program delivers activities and projects for PNG Defence worth over 50 million kina annually.


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Roger Andrew

As a new graduate from Lae Unitech Nursing College 2017 interested in reading from you. It was a very effective delivery health services and was wish and interested in working with your organization
Hope this will continue to bring further EHC all the community and PNG as a whole.
Thank you.

Ash Hausmahn

Laurence the PNGDF can only deliver such programs when it is properly funded and equipped.

If you read the article this exercise was sponsored by the Defence Cooperation Program and with limited funding from the PNGDF so please don't shoot the messenger (PNGDF), which is doing what it can on its limited funding.

Laurence Quinlivan

Back in the 1960s, PIR Patrols throughout PNG always had their own army medical orderly, a policeman and a government medical attendant to provide health services in all the villages visited.

This augmented the regular health patrols conducted by the local Patrol Officer.

Now from the report it would appear the PNGDF only do it once a year. How does the PNGDF build rapport with the people in the villages?

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