District engages Aust volunteers

Gazelle District in East New Britain Province will benefit from technical assistance through Australian volunteers under the Australian Volunteers Program in PNG.

Through the initiative of the Office of the Member for Gazelle and Health Minister, Jelta Wong, a partnership has been forged with the Gazelle District Administration and Australian Volunteers Program in PNG.

The first volunteer already working in the district is Rory McGrath, who joined last month and is engaged in the district’s health sector. He is a diabetes nurse from Central Australia and has experiences in remote health.

A second volunteer, Jodie Stewart, specialised in early childhood learning, is expected to arrive early next month (Feb).

Minister Wong commended the partnership with AVP saying volunteers will assist in strengthening key programs while at the same time, develop skills and capacity of officers through mentoring and training.

When welcoming McGrath into the district, Minister Wong said the initiative is to strengthen the health system in the district in terms of capacity building.

“The issue of diabetes in Gazelle is a concern. Diabetic patients are losing limbs and eye sights. Most of them are incapable of working to generate income for their family. This becomes a burden,” Minister Wong said.

He said it is vital for locals to appreciate and consume fresh local food instead of the processed food and drinks.

“If we encourage and educate people to eat local food instead of canned food, we can also be able to keep money in the country,” Minister Wong said.

McGrath hopes to make awareness and help locals understand the importance of eating good food, interact with local health officers, assist to identify issues and gather statistics and provide an overall overview of the health system in Gazelle and make recommendations.

(File picture of Gazelle MP Jelta Wong with his district development authority board members)

Press release