More funds for Covid-19

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THE World Bank has approved an additional US$30 million (K106.8 million) in funding for Papua New Guinea to provide additional support for the country’s Covid-19 response.
Since February, PNG has seen a sharp escalation in Covid-19 cases and deaths due to widespread community transmission.
This rapid increase in Covid-19 cases has put significant pressure on an already-stretched health system.
“Now is the time for us to collectively build a stronger and more resilient health system for all Papua New Guineans, particularly the most vulnerable,” World Bank country manager for PNG Stefano Mocci said.
“Pandemic preparedness is about people’s access to the most basic of healthcare systems and their ability to access the information, the prevention and the services they need.
“We look forward to further supporting PNG’s health authorities to build the capacity of frontline health workers and to strengthen public health systems to put the local health system on a better platform to combat the Covid-19, and potential future pandemics.”
This additional funding, to be delivered through the PNG response project, would also support the scale-up of deployment of Covid-19 vaccines to prioritise communities, prepare communities for vaccine delivery, support improvements to the accountability and oversight of resources for the rollout and training of vaccine delivery workers.
Further support would go towards the delivery of the Covid-19 infection prevention and control messages, testing, waste management and clinical management of patients with mild symptoms.
The response project is funded through the World Bank Group’s US$125 billion (K444.99 billion) global coronavirus response package.
An initial package of support to PNG was announced last year, which included the purchase and distribution of over 200,000 pieces of personal protective equipment throughout the country, funding for a new container-based laboratory in the capital with other lab equipment, medical supplies and funding to transport Covid-19 samples to laboratories within PNG and to Australia.
The project had also funded an extensive nationwide public education and community engagement campaign, delivered through United Nations Children’s Fund on television, radio, social media and via SMS. The World Bank’s commitment to the Covid-19 response effort in PNG is part of a wider package of World Bank support to tackle a number of PNG’s most pressing health challenges.
The US$30 million impact health project, when implemented, would address the quality and efficiency of health services being delivered in community health posts, health centres and district hospitals, focussing on improving the quality of frontline health services.