How can you contribute to change?


THE year 2021 ends tonight at 11.59pm.
Into eternity passes one more year in the ceaseless march of time.
A new year beckons.
So how do we mark 2021?
On the balance sheet of your daily activities this year, have you recorded a profit of good achievements, a breakeven or a loss?
Has it been a wasted 12 months or a busy and fruitful year?
At about this time last year, did you not sit down with a note book or laptop or palm top or mobile phone and note down some “dos” and “don’ts” for the year?
Looking back, can you honestly tell whether you have stuck by some of the resolutions you made or have you failed them within a few weeks of the New Year?
The highlight of this year is definitely the effects of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The whole world was and is still affected by this pandemic and Papua New Guinea is no exception.
The fight to contain the Covid-19 pandemic is global.
Nations are working together on this.
PNG’s trading partners were hit and the effect was felt in the country.
Stiff border protection measures are still being implemented along our borders and that of many other countries.
The scramble to prepare for when the virus hits PNG highlighted the week health system in the country.
To this date, PNG still does not have the capacity to deal with this virus.

PNG’s population is at about 9 million people and the number of doctors in PNG is just below 600.
That is about one doctor to serve around 12,000 people. Then we have the nurses ratio, which is 5:10,000 people.
Realistically, there is not enough health workers for our population.
That aside, the last few months was full of political uncertainty as we saw MPs move around.
PNG has been through very tough times and there are challenges that remain. There has been progress made, as reported, but there is a greater need for more infrastructure development and social services in the districts and local level government areas this time around.
An overview of PNG by the World Bank states that to diversify PNG’s asset base and increase employment, investment is needed to strengthen capacity in institutions, human capital and physical infrastructure.
Electricity, telecommunications, road and other transport infrastructure remain critical to enabling private sector-led growth.
There are limited formal job opportunities for the growing employment age population and other risks include environmental management, population growth, political fragmentation, inequalities in PNG’s resource dominated economy and social exclusion of some groups
So how do we want to progress ourselves, our families, our schools, our communities and our nation?
Regardless of how small or insignificant you might think you are or your contribution is, make no mistake that it will impact the bigger picture for good or for worse.
One person resisting the temptation to spit betel nut spittle on the street results in a cleaner and healthier street.
As we review 2021 and plot the course for 2022, it would be good to remind ourselves of how each person can contribute to a meaningful change.
It is no good plotting a new year until you have reviewed the old year and what has been achieved.
We wish PNG and everyone a prosperous 2022.