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Two men being welcomed by the community in traditional clothing and face/body paint.

Pictured above: Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis with the Hon Petrus Thomas MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Security, during a recent visit to Koroba-Kopiago.

The signing of a partnership agreement between the Koroba-Lake Kopiago District Development Authority (KDDA) and the Oil Search Foundation (OSF) has paved the way for rehabilitation work to be done on the Koroba District Hospital (KDH) over the next twelve months. The agreement is another step in the direction to improving health indicators in Hela Province through the new co-funded public private partnership launched recently between the Government of PNG, Australian Government and OSF called Wok Bung Wantaim.

KDDA made a commitment of K200,000 towards refurbishment, specifically to address earthquake related damage. OSF will work closely with the Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA) to manage the project on behalf of KDDA and in partnership with Australia and others.

KDDA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Johnston Haguai, emphasised that the Authority was pleased with the work it has seen OSF do in Hela and was confident that together they would improve the district health facility.

“Oil Search Foundation has grant management experience, strong governance mechanisms and an existing partnership with the HPHA, and the Australian Government which KDDA would like to leverage to improve facilities at our District Hospital”, said Mr Haguai.

Numerous challenges, including its isolation and remoteness, and the recent impacts of the earthquake has seen the health facility deteriorate to a level that services are not able to be fully provided.