This second larger team of up to 19 medical and public health specialists will expand Australia’s assistance to PNG in the battle against COVID-19.
They will deploy over an eight week period in September and October, working to strengthen PNG’s health system to help it continue to provide vital health services in a COVID-19 context.
As with the initial team, the second team will follow PNG’s quarantine requirements.
This announcement comes in addition to the first response team of AUSMAT medical and public health specialists, who were deployed to PNG earlier this month.
The first team has made significant progress by working closely with PNG health officials and frontline workers to provide clinical and public health support, as directed by PNG authorities, including PNG’s National Department of Health.
Together, they are improving staff and workplace safety for those providing care to COVID-19 patients, as well as increasing the capacity of testing and treatment facilities, and enhancing the public health response.
The AUSMAT deployments are just one element of Australia’s significant support to Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 response. Australia has been working to support PNG’s response to the health, economic and social impacts of this pandemic since COVID-19 first became a threat.
Australia has supported PNG’s health response through medical supplies, funding to provinces to prepare and respond to COVID-19, strengthening public health systems and increasing laboratory testing capacity.
Australia is working to help PNG strengthen its testing and surveillance capacity by providing over 20,000 sample collection kits, 15,000 rapid serology tests, four new testing machines to help with diagnosis, over two million pieces of personal protective equipment for frontline workers and over 6,000 GeneXpert cartridges that allow quick testing.
Australia stands with PNG during this challenging time to protect our communities from COVID-19.
(The first deployment of AUSMAT team to PNG – Picture: Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp)