Health services in West Sepik challenging

The National,Thursday June 9th, 2016

NEARLY 70 airstrips closed in West Sepik due to lack of maintenance by local level governments (LLGs), West Sepik provincial health authority (PHA) chief executive officer Alphonse Yalim says.
Speaking at the 23rd National Health Conference in Port Moresby yesterday, Yalim said that was one reason why health service delivery to the rural areas was very difficult.
“Routine rural passenger transport by air ceased 10 years ago and flights into districts are dependent on chartered basis only,” Yalim said.
He said other barriers of effective implementation of health service delivery included road infrastructure connecting Vanimo and districts during bad weather. They link Aitape-Vanimo, Aitape-NukuandVanimo- Green River, living conditions in rural areas being high where mark-up of goods was more than 100 per cent, staff morale being low due to lack of good housing, lighting and water supply, challenging geographical terrain and aging infrastructure.
Yalim said the Organic Law on Provincial and LLG and the Financial Management Act needed to be amended to give PHAs full authority on the use of health functional grants for effective service delivery.
“We simply do not have any more excuses.
“We owe it to ourselves and the future generations to shift our attitudes and mind-set towards improving health standards of our people in West Sepik,” Yalim said.