The program was initiated by students at the University of PNG’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Taurama Campus, and supported by UPNG main campus students, the University of Goroka and Lae’s University of Technology.
The theme of the program was; “Ask not what SHP can do for you but what you can do for SHP”.
The students have cleaned up the most deteriorated areas of Mendi town with the help of the town authority, who has stepped in with dump trucks for the rubbish.
The aim of the clean-up program is to encourage residents to take ownership of their town, including infrastructure, and create a conducive environment for everyone to live in.
SHP Medical Students Union president, Felix David, noted the lack of responsibility in their province, emphasising on the motivation to drive change.
“We have seen a lack of leadership in all levels and that suppressed the growth and development of not only Mendi town but the entire province,” David stated.
The objective of the awareness program was to educate Southern Highlanders on preventive health measures, encourage quality education and advocate for behavioural change.
The students further plan to support the Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority by conducting a fundraising to purchase health equipment for the Mendi General Hospital.
Business houses and public servants have commended the students for their initiative and have stepped in with funding assistance.
(Article and pictures by UPNG journalism student – Albert Moses)