Papua New Guinea: ICRC supports Mount Hagen Hospital to better prepare for COVID-19 patients

The ICRC is preparing for COVID-19 patients and enhancing the capacity of Mount Hagen Hospital by setting up a dedicated isolation unit.

The unit, which includes a delivery room, has a capacity to cater for 12 COVID-19 patients. In addition, the isolation unit has dedicated facilities for staff working to provide care to COVID-19 patients, including Protective Equipment (PPE) donning and doffing stations, and an area for disinfection and waste management. The ICRC also assisted the hospital by establishing two pre-triage tents for the screening of outpatients, the provision of PPE for staff, and materials for infection prevention and control.

Isolation unit. CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/R. Tabel

"COVID-19 is an additional burden for vulnerable communities, who are already experiencing difficulties to access basic services and sustain their livelihood. The ICRC will continue to support people of the Highlands during these challenging times and have adapted our programs accordingly. We are happy that we could support the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority in their essential preparedness efforts, so they will be in a better position to help the community in case of outbreak in the province." said Stephanie Probst, the ICRC head of sub-delegation in Mount Hagen.

More generally, in support of health authorities, the ICRC will continue to raise awareness in the community on COVID-19 together with PNG Red Cross Society to prevent the spread of the virus, provide essential equipment to health facilities, train health staff, and share technical advice as needed.

ICRC Water and Habitat Field Officer, Belinda Nabuga working from inside the Isolation unit. CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/R. Tabel

The WHPHA is so privileged and honoured to have the support of the ICRC during this time of the coronavirus pandemic where more financial resources are needed to complete preparations for the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The ICRC has been working to protect and assist people affected by violence and tribal fighting in Bougainville and the Highlands of Papua New Guinea since 2012.

For further information, please contact:
Helen Walters Amnol, ICRC Port Moresby, tel. +67571927175
Reuben Tabel, ICRC Mt Hagen, tel. +67570020863