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Healthcare workers rely on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves and their patients from the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19) and other infectious diseases.

Around the world COVID-19 is placing huge demands on the need for PPE. Ensuring there is a good supply available for health workers is an essential priority for the Government of PNG.

Recognising the importance of this, Oil Search Foundation (OSF) assisted Oil Search Limited (OSL) to distribute essential PPE which included gloves, surgical masks and hand sanitizers to the local Provincial Health Authorities (PHA) in Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf and Central Provinces, who then distributed the gear to the health workers at the district and sub-district levels.

Dominica Arabagali the Officer in charge at Baguale Health sub-centre in Southern Highlands said that when health workers first heard about the COVID-19 outbreak, they were scared to come to work because they did not have the necessary protection.

We felt vulnerable and exposed to contracting the virus as we know that it’s contagious, and people can die from it. But this is longer a worry thanks to OSL and OSF, who donated PPE to us. We are now protected and can perform our vital work to save lives.
- Dominica Arabagali Officer in charge at Baguale Health sub-centre

Zina Yagoma, Health Extension officer at Inu Health centre added, “Our biggest priority is always the health and safety of our patients. This donation will help us to provide lifesaving protection during this pandemic.”

Dr Joseph Birisi, CEO SHP PHA said; “Every health care worker must have access to appropriate PPE. Protecting them especially during this time is key to ensuring a functioning health system. Through the support of our partners OSL and OSF whilst working in close consultation with the National Department of Health, we were able to deliver critical PPE across clinics and health centres in the province. An effort we wouldn’t have done alone.”

This PPE donated has benefited close to 90 health facilities across Hela, Southern Highlands, Gulf and Central Province. ‘When health workers feel safe and protected 1000s of people will benefit from health services’ OSF Executive Director, Stephanie Copus-Campbell said.