The rural hospital has been without a vaccine fridge and as such could not implement vaccination programs in its rural communities.
Digicel Foundation donated a solar powered vaccine fridge worth K57, 000.00.
The fridge will be used to store vaccines, blood samples, and has an ice maker. This is valuable when health workers travel into remote areas.
Digicel Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Serena Sasingian, enlightened people, staff and students at Gaubin about roles and functions of the Foundation and of their assistance to communities since its inception 2008.
“Due to Digicel’s business prospects we always say: Forever Digicel grows, and so too, must our communities grow. Since our Foundations establishment up till now, we have injected over K169m into the health and education projects all over the 96 in Papua New Guinea and we are proud to bring in much needed essential services to the people here,” said Sasingan.
Sasingan also acknowledged the fact that even though the fridge is small, the Foundation has come to realize its importance in that it will assist so many people, especially children. She emphasized on the need and the importance of prevention of sickness and diseases through immunization and vaccination. Adding that prevention really does help to protect and fight against diseases.
Director of Public Health with the Madang Provincial Health Authority (MPHA), Dr. Martin Damien, stressed on the importance of partnership in service delivery. He stated that the MPHA embraces Public Private Partnership programs because whatever the government provides is not enough to fully cater for all health facilities within the province.
“I see that our capacity to provide health services is a challenge and I see that it is very hard to look after you all under my directorate. What I have been given by the Government is not enough, that is why I appreciate partnerships such as these from Digicel Foundation. And I appeal to everyone to take care of our partners by taking very good of this equipment given and giving back reports,” Dr Damien said.
Dr. Damien added that children are at risk as the level of immunization coverage is way beyond the 50% mark. Since 2019 until 2023, Madang has recorded vaccine and immunization coverage of only 18%. He encouraged parents to bring in their children for immunization because diseases prevented by immunization cannot be treated with medicine if unvaccinated children acquire them later in life.
This small ceremonious but significant event was hosted to appreciate partners and stakeholders of Gaubin Rural Hospital. Digicel Foundation, LHS Mase, the Church and Gaubin Hospital Boards and management, Gaubin School of Nursing, staff, students, community leaders and the public.
Gaubin hospital is a Lutheran run hospital that was built during World War 2 by the Germans.