Kemish and wife aid special care nursery

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, June 30, 2011

A CHILD in Papua New Guinea is 15 times more likely to die before reaching the age of five than a child in Australia, Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish said.
Kemish and his wife Roxanne Martens handed more than 90 boxes of infant-sized feeding tubes, oxygen catheters, intravenous needles and syringes to the Port Moresby General Hospital special care nursery yesterday.
“This special care equipment will eventually see hundreds of babies receiving proper neo-natal care,” he said.
“Australia is committed to improving PNG’s health and this small contribution signifies the effective partnership between Australia and PNG in health that will see more babies saved each year.
“Australia, through AusAID, will continue to work with the Department of Health to improve service delivery and supplies to the nursery.
“This work supports the PNG Government’s priorities outlined in the Medium Term Development Plan 2011-15 and the National Health Plan 2011-20.”
AusAID provided more than K62,000 to buy the equipment which will improve health care for new-born babies and improve the continuity of life-saving nursery services.
The Port Moresby Care Nursery was temporarily closed in 2008 due to an outbreak of disease linked to the inadequate medical supplies and equipment.
Director for medical services at Port Moresby General Hospital, Dr David Mokela said the nursery equipment was necessary to reduce preventable deaths among infants.
“The equipment will increase services and daily essential care for infants and we are grateful for this contribution,” Mokela said.
Chief paediatrician Dr James Amini said the new nursery building was built because of overcrowding in the old one.
“Our problem is we run out of funds with consumables and instruments plus surveys have shown that 33% of babies are premature.
“These equipments are vital for babies,” he said.