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Meet Anna Anda, Director of Nursing for Mendi Hospital, Southern Highlands Province (SHP)

Woman in yellow cardigan sitting and speaking

Anna Anda is a Southern Highlands’ woman who is passionate about providing quality nursing care.

Inspired by her father; who was a community health worker, Anna started her nursing career in the early 1980s, and has served in Southern Highlands ever since.

She has a certificate in nursing from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in East New Britain Province, a certificate in midwifery from University of Papua New Guinea medical school, a Diploma in Health Teaching from the University of Goroka; a Bachelor and a Master’s degrees in Nursing from Monash University in Melbourne Australia; and a Masters in Hospital Management in Perth Australia.

Anna was recently supported by Oil Search Foundation and Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority (SHPHA) to undertake a 6-month Women in Leadership and Management Program.

She was grateful for the opportunity. Though highly educated, Anna herself identified leadership skills as an area for further development.

“The program has filled a lot of gaps for me. It has equipped me with critical skills required to lead and manage people at the workplace; assisted me to develop skills that I lack especially my leadership skills. The most interesting take away for me is the use of delegation of responsibilities and its positive impact on success.” Anna says.

"After going through this program, I now delegate more responsibilities to my team leads, and I put more effort into developing my team’s skills in planning, strategizing and decision making."
- Anna Anda

The positive impact is that I am giving more Papua New Guineans an opportunity to develop the essential skills required to be strong leaders and managers. I won’t be here forever, and with all the education and training I have received I now have a duty to mentor and develop young upcoming Papua New Guineans. I am so grateful to be able to participate in this training program, as it has made me realise the need to be this mentor for the younger generation”, Anna stated.

Being passionate about providing quality patient and nursing care, Anna now hopes to contribute more towards improving the current state of care in SHP. Through the leadership and management program, she has developed ideas on how she can do so.

“It is my dream to see Mendi Hospital and eventually other facilities in SHP, provide the best patient and nursing care in PNG and the region. Facilities that will have quality beds, mattresses, bed sheets, etc. Facilities where people may walk in feeling sick, and instantly gain comfort to be in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Facilities that will have caring and compassionate staff ready to provide the best services.

We sometimes read and hear negative critics in the media about the care nurses provide. I want to see that change in my lifetime, so as a leader, I will work towards encouraging and promoting that change. For most of us who chose nursing as a career path, it is a calling, and not merely about the money. We need to be reminded that we have a duty to meet nursing care standards and serve our people wholeheartedly with the highest degree of professional care.” says Anna.

"If I can contribute to this improvement either directly or through my mentorship, I will be a very happy person”
- Anna Anda

Anna has acknowledged that she could not have progressed in her career without the support of her family, supportive mentors, and others.

“I was supported by many in the past, including my biggest supporter, my late husband. I give credit to them for my career growth. I’d like to acknowledge Mendi Hospital’s former CEO late Joseph Turin and the current SHPHA CEO Dr Joseph Birisi, for their faith in me. In our culture, men lead, so to have faith that women can also lead, has really been an encouragement for me.

Thank you to Oil Search Foundation for also supporting me and many other women in Southern Highlands, Hela and Gulf provinces, to go through this much needed Leadership & Management program. Business Coalition for Women and WINGS Education, thank you also, for the time and effort you’ve put into delivering the Women in Leadership & Management Cert IV Course. You’ve all planted a new seed. The challenge is now with me to water it, let it grow and flourish”.