The National- Friday, February 4, 2011
By KARI TOTONA
THE Raikarawa Memorial Rural Health Centre will be upgraded to serve Kupiano and nearby villages in the Abau district.
The same health support programme would also see one health centre in Eastern Highlands undergo a major facelift both to be funded under the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
The two health
facilities are recipients of KOICA’s pledge of a US$5.5 million (K14 million) support to be rolled out in line with the Health Department’s national health plan 2011-20.
The project is a four-year plan which began last year under the community healthpost concept that is set for completion by 2013.
Kupiano Health Centre coordinator Etene Boyama said the facility was the only service provider for the people in the area.
“Due to limited supply which impedes daily operations coupled with the poor conditions of the health facilities in the district, all aidposts and
sub-health centres have shut down,” she said.
Other factors, Boyama mentioned, were the shortage of health workers, inadequate supply of electricity and untreated water supply.
“We are confined to four hours of electricity per day and run short of fuel to power the generator,” she said.
Boyama has been working for the health clinic for 28 years and was thankful for the support from the Korean agency.
Meanwhile, KOICA team leader Baek Sook-hee said that actual work should begin by the middle of this year 2011 after three to four months of a basic design study to be carried out.
These include a detailed programme, infrastructure designing, competency training for health workers aligned to the goal of the NHP 2011-20: “strengthened primary health care for all and improved service delivery for the rural majority and the urban disadvantaged” and to provide accessible health services.
The project was made possible following a proposal seeking assistance to upgrade all district health centres that was submitted to the Korean embassy by Health Secretary Dr Clement Clement Malau in November 2009.