By YVONNE KAMBIBEL
THE indigenous people of Port Moresby, the Motu-Koitabuans, are set to have access to a level three health facility after the signing of an agreement between the Motu-Koita Assembly and the National Capital District Commission (NCDC).
A groundbreaking ceremony for the K25 million Metoreia Health Centre was held in Hanuabada village yesterday.
The event was attended by hundreds of locals who witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU).
More than 40,000 people within the Motu-Koitabu and surrounding areas will benefit from the facility which is expected to be completed after two years.
NCD deputy governor and Motu-Koitabu Assembly chairman Dadi Toka Jr said his people did not have an adequate health care in their community for a long time and welcomed the initiative.
He thanked all key partners in the project including the Australian High Commission, NCDC, NCD Provincial Health Authority, the Government through the Health Minister and the local United Church.
“The current health services in the city do not cater for our growing population,” he said.
“As a result, we have become the only Papua New Guinean indigenous population that is greatly disadvantaged on our own land.”
He said despite being located in the country’s largest city, health indicators for the Motu-Koitabu were among the poorest in the country.
“These statistics emphasise the need for better health services for the Motu-Koitabu people.”
Toka said many proposals of such health infrastructures have been talked about but none had materialised and commended the Australian High Commission for the funding support, Health Minister Jelta Wong for making their vision a reality and the local united church for allocating its land for the health facility.
Health Minister Jelta Wong said the Government’s budget for health was the largest in the history of this country’s national budget allocations to the health sector.
He said their priority now would to be target and improve all neglected areas in the country.
By YVONNE KAMBIBEL