Save the Children is implementing a project with 3 Provincial Health Authorities in East Sepik province, Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Western province.
Save the Children’s Safe Children, Healthy Mothers nutrition project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program. 14 solar panels and generators were presented to East Sepik Provincial Health Authority and, 9 to the AROB’s Department of Health recently. The Western Province PHA is yet to receive theirs.
Technicians from the East Sepik Provincial Health Authority with Save the Children have been carried out he 220 watts solar panels and generators in health facilities across Ambunti, Drekikier, Wosera, Gawi, Wewak Rural, Kairuru Island, Koil Island and Angoram.
They managed to complete the installations earlier this month. Nursing Officer in Charge at Marienberg Health Sub-Centre in Angoram, Sr. Vanessa Kim said the health facility is located along the Sepik River with the biggest challenge being the lack of a lighting system to work on patients during the night.
“Many of the patients we see are those that must be treated with the help of medical equipment that use power such as asthma patients who need a nebulizer or pregnant women who give birth in the night.”
She thanked Save the Children and the East Sepik PHA for ensuring Marienberg Sub-Health Centre received the solar panels and generator. This will provide lighting to the facility and help them treat patients in the night.
Save the Children’s SCHM Project Manager Ronny Inaha explained that a base line assessment conducted in 2021 in East Sepik, Bougainville and Western province and they had identified that many remote health facilities lacked lighting system and officers found it difficult to attend to maternity and emergency cases in the night.
“After the baseline assessment we found out that most of these remote health facilities within the communities that we’re implementing our nutrition project didn’t have a lighting system which has made it difficult to treat patients at night.”
Apart from Marienberg Sub-Health Centre other facilities that also received solar panels and generators include; Samban Health Center, Tongujamb AidPost, Ambunti SDA Pathfinder Clinic, Avatip Community Health Post, Kunjingini Health Center, Kaugia Health Center, Wombisa Health Center, Gawi (Burui) Health Center, Drekikier Health Center, Bungain Aid Post, Woginara Aid Post, Koil Aid Postand Kairuru Aid Postin East Sepik.
Installation work is expected to begin in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Western province soon. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of half of all under five deaths with almost half of children aged 6-59 months being stunted. Under its Safe Children, Healthy Mothers project, Save the Children is working to reduce malnutrition in 30 communities in ARoB, 25 communities in East Sepik and 35 communities in Western province.