The masks were donated by Japanese cosmetic and dietary supplement company, FANCL CORPORATION and made possible through the JICA Volunteer “Smile for all in the World” program.
Senior Representative of JICA, Takahiro Yokota, officially handed over the masks to the Deputy Assistant Controller and Health Department Deputy Secretary, Dr Paison Dakulala.
Firstly, JICA applauds the National Government for the great effort against the current COVID-19 situation and ensuring all other health issues apart from COVID-19 are addressed accordingly.
2020 was a year faced with many challenges, almost all revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic not only affected developing but also developed nations in the world, Takahiro Yokota – Senior JICA Representative said.
Yokota said the “Smile for All in the World” Program collects items from willing Japanese citizens following requests by related groups in assigned countries or locations of JICA volunteers.
JICA collects excess products related to sports, culture, education, health and so on in Japan for donation in the countries where JICA volunteers work.
Private firms and citizens have the opportunity to donate to developing countries on a goodwill gesture. It is more than donating items; it is special because it enables Japanese citizens to participate intimately in international cooperation as donors of items. JICA and volunteers serve as a bridge that connects people in developing countries with Japanese citizens.
PNG had also participated in receiving goods through this program over the years, the recent being the donation of wheelchairs to the Milne Bay Provincial Hospital in 2019 and again wheelchair donation in 2021 to the Popondetta Provincial Hospital in early January 2021. Today, JICA facilitated the donation of 25,000 masks by the FANCL Corporation in Japan, to the National Department of Health.
Dr. Dakulala thanked the people of Japan and said JICA had been long supported the health sector. In 2020 a K30 million upgrade of the Port Moresby General Hospital was launched by Japanese Ambassador to PNG Kuniyuki Nakahara.
“And now we see here the generous donation of 25,000 and what more to come from a private entity from Japan and we really appreciate for contributing in this way to our country.” Said Dr. Dakulala
Dr Dakulala said it is important that continued support as such continues both in finance and in kind.
“We are one of the two countries in the Western Pacific Region that’s declared as having community transmission, which is very different from sporadic or cluster transmission, that’s different. Now this particular virus is in the country, in our community and so the PPE and all the necessary components are very important, the masks, all the attire that’s required is important to protect our frontline workers, but also everyone else that are vulnerable.” He added.