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For people living in isolated areas, access to medical care can be a real challenge

Such was the case for the unreachable neighbouring mountain villages of Huiya and Dodomona. Situated at the border of Hela and Western Province, their remoteness was the reason for a lack of basic health services.

But that no longer is a concern as both locations are now homes to a new kind of healthcare called the containerised aid-post. Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA), Oil Search Limited and Oil Search Foundation (OSF) came together to deliver these life-saving facilities in the heart of the communities which will address most of their health care needs.

Komo-Magarima District Health Manager, Rocky Wakinda said, “Previously, locals in Huiya had to travel on foot through rough jungle terrain for days, just to get to the closest clinic in Komo. These 40 feet long, 10 feet wide container aid-posts are life savers to these locals. Recently installed, this medical amenity provides basic aid-post health services.”

A local father from Dodomona, said, “The earthquake in 2018 destroyed our health centre. It was the only basic medical facility we had, since then we did not have any help of this sort. When we saw the helicopter bring in this huge container, we were so excited. Now, our mothers and children have access to maternal and childcare whilst the old can easily receive treatment.

A local mother from Huiya said, “I lost my husband during the earthquake and had to raise our four young children myself. It became so difficult for me when my children got sick, as I had to track the bush alone for days just to get medical help for them. Thanks to OSF, I do not have to worry about this anymore. My children and I are able to receive health services at our doorstep.”

OSF Executive Director, Stephanie Copus-Campbell said, “Delivering these customised containers was such a complex logistical exercise, given the remoteness of both communities. But all this was made possible through partnerships. Through HPHA, these facilities now have health staff, basic medical equipment, water, lighting and medicine and have begun treating and helping the sick.”