Communities around Mabudawan in the South-Fly District of Western Province will have better access to the Mabudawan Health Centre following the completion of a new jetty funded by Australia through the Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP) at a cost of PGK3.1 million.
As a Level 3 health facility, the Mabudawan Health Centre has a full range of medical facilities including a maternity ward; dental clinic; tuberculosis consultation and isolation ward; pathology laboratory; and accident and
emergency centre. The health centre serves a catchment area of around 18,000 people.
Communities previously travelled via dugout canoes and boats and struggled through the muddy shores to access the health facility. This was an enormous challenge, particularly for very sick patients and those with
The health centre now has a floating pontoon with a hinged walkway allowing 24-hour direct access to boats, making it easier to transfer patients and achieve consistent delivery of medical supplies and equipment.
Nursing officer Esongke Waurang, who is currently in charge of the health centre, said: “People are traveling long distances, as far as Kunini, Morehead and Daru, to access the clinic because of its [high-quality] setup so the jetty
will help to give better access to our services, where they don’t have to walk through the muddy shore like before”.
Kelwyn Browne, a health advisor with the PNG Australia Transition to Health (PATH) Program, who works closely with Esongke reiterated: “For sick people and normal patient access, this jetty will make it easier to reach
the clinic whether they’re coming in from the rivers or up and down the coasts.
It’ll also be a bit easier for the staff and the support team here to move medical supplies and other things to the centre.”
The Mabudawan jetty has been designed to withstand high tides and is expected to be in use for at least 20 years.