PNG Medical Outreach Patrols Program
Certain remote communities in PNG do not receive any form of health care, without NREF’s support. Women and infants die during birth, patients are subjected to primitive medical practices, adults do not receive any medical care and children suffer from illnesses that do not exist in other countries. Medical outreach patrols are vital in getting health care to remote communities. These patrols are the only access to health care without hours or walking or paddling through difficult terrain. People die on their way to seek medical aid.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, NREF organised medical expeditions were Australian doctors, nurses and midwives would fly into PNG several times a year. Due to COVID-19’s no travelling restrictions, we have established the Medical Outreach Patrols Program. These patrols ensure medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and trained PNG medical staff visit remote communities. It is an agile and innovative solution to the pandemic situation; to ensure remote communities continue to receive medical aid.
In 2021, we have completed two patrols. Sister Borna (medical practitioner in charge) and her team took pharmaceuticals and vaccines and provided much needed medical aid. Each patrol saw nearly 1,000 adults and children being treated. Sister Bona states “on behalf of my work colleagues, my people from Marasa to Tumari village, we thanked the people of Australia for funding our patrols. Your donation of 80 litres petrol and medicine is an investment to Tufi people, Northern Province and PNG also”.