OSF provides programs for women in four provinces

Last year over 300,000 women, children and men across Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, Kikori in Gulf and the Hela Province, had access to a range of programs through the Oil Search Foundation.

Working closely through government systems and with partners, services provided in the areas of health, gender and early childhood literacy and education are detailed in the Foundation's 2016 Annual Report titled “Partnerships in Action” that was released this week.
Among the results achieved in a year tagged as ‘the year of implementation,’ the Foundation with government and church health service providers facilitated 60,000 vaccinations; enabled over 14,000 people to undergo HIV testing; supported over 1,000 outreach clinics and patrols; and made it possible for more than 5,600 mothers to attend antenatal clinics in some of the most remote areas in PNG.
Chairman of the Foundation and Managing Director of Oil Search Limited, Peter Botten, described the results as; “a demonstration of the team’s hard work to establish the Foundation as a credible development partner. We have built a strong organisational platform that is underpinned by effective governance systems, genuine partnerships, and skilled staff who are making a difference in the country we love”.
The Foundation also helped facilitate the refurbishment of critical infrastructure at the Hela Provincial Hospital with $US 2.3 million funding support from Oil Search that went towards building wards, securing doctors and strengthening the hospitals financial and human resource systems. In 12 months the hospital provided services to over 45,000 patients, performed around 800 surgeries and delivered over a thousand babies.
At the close of the five-year Reproductive Health Training Unit (RHTU) program in March this year, nearly 2,000 health workers had been trained or upskilled in Essential and Emergency Obstetric Care across 17 provinces in the country. Funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the National Department of Health and OSF, the RHTU program over-achieved the initial target by 350 per cent and is crucial in helping address infant and maternal mortality rates in PNG.
In 2016, the Foundation’s programs expanded beyond its core health programs to include Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) - and Leadership and Education.
Under the WPE Program staff from OSF and Oil Search, were provided with tools to address gender-based violence, including introduction of a small grants scheme for employees to effect change in their communities through culturally relevant programs of their own.
OSF also partnered with Buk bilong Pikinini, the Hela Provincial Education Division and the Catholic Diocese to open its first ‘Literacy Library’ in Tari. This has been transformational for the first 80 children (3-5 year olds) learning to read and count. This success will lead to a further two Literacy Libraries established in Hela and Gulf this year.
“I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to lead this unique Papua New Guinean organisation,” said Chief Executive Officer, Kymberley Kepore. “We are an organisation focussed on supporting our communities to identify their priorities and working with them and other partners to deliver sustainable and appropriate responses.”  She further thanked all the donor and development partners for contributing resources, voices and energy to improving and strengthening service delivery throughout PNG.
The 2016 Annual Report is accessible from the website www.oilsearchfoundation.org
Picture: A mother and child during an OSF outreach clinic to Kantobo in the Southern Highlands. Picture courtesy Oil Search Foundation.

Press release