Women and girls studying at the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences now have a new 40 bed accommodation facility.
The thoughtfully designed student accommodation will provide a safe and supportive environment, allowing more women students to live and study on campus.
The University also hopes the improvements will encourage more students to choose to become doctors and clinical practitioners through this school and persevere through to graduation.
Funded by the Australian Government through an Incentive Fund grant, the accommodation will cater for 40 female students including those living with a disability.
The facility has lounge areas, solar-heated hot water systems and kitchens.
Australian High Commissioner Mr. John Feakes affirmed Australia’s support.
“Australia is committed to investing in high-quality infrastructure that supports PNG’s objectives to improve education and health outcomes for Papua New Guineans, the bedrock of economic growth and prosperity.”
The design process included extensive consultations with female clinical students to ensure that it aligned with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ national Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Policy.
It also reduces overcrowding in existing accommodations and will serve women undergoing medical residency.
Secretary for National Department of Health, Dr Osborne Liko at the opening ceremony acknowledged Australia’s contribution stating that the much- needed accommodation will now cater for the growing number of female students enrolling in the medicine and health sciences programs.
In 2001, Australia provided the University with an Incentive Fund grant to support capacity building in distance education across five UPNG open campuses nationwide, followed by a second grant in 2006 to deliver specialized training for nurses.
Incentive Fund grants help eligible organizations improve service delivery and create economic opportunities in PNG, primarily by building essential infrastructure.
Schools, health clinics, commercial buildings, markets, and other places may fall under this category.