International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Counselling pioneer shares skills in the Highlands

Piam, who hails from the Western Highlands Province, is a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Field Officer with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Mt. Hagen and recent alumna of the first Australia Awards Graduate Certificate in Counselling Short Course.

She works with communities, providing psychological support to people affected by conflicts or violence-related situations, as well as supporting frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A silent threat of the pandemic

During his long career in health care, Soal has seen many challenges that come with the territory – outbreaks of tribal fighting remain common in the highlands. But nothing comes close to what COVID-19 has unleashed around the world in recent months.

Trained to stay calm under pressure, Soal says the stress of dealing with an unknown virus at such a large scale has taken a toll on health-care workers, causing many to feel anxious, irritable and frustrated.

Mt Hagen hospital equipped for COVID-19

They aim to achieve this by setting up a dedicated isolation unit.

The unit, which includes a delivery room, can cater for twelve COVD-19 patients. In addition, the isolation unit has dedicated facilities for staff working to provide care to COVID-19 patients, including PPE donning and doffing stations, and an area for disinfection and waste management.

The ICRC also assisted the hospital by establishing two pre-triage tents for the screening of outpatients, the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, and materials for infection prevention and control.

ICRC steps up PNG response

The humanitarian organisation is working closely with the local authorities and Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS), specifically in the Highlands and Bougainville, by providing personal protective equipment and handwashing stations along with hygiene and awareness material to health facilities as part of the capacity-building and prevention measures.

International Policing Standards workshop conducted

The officers came from Hela, Enga and Southern Highlands Provinces with majority of them serving in the rural police stations such as Kandep, Tari and Pangia.

“The workshop has greatly helped me to see and act differently, especially when engaging with civilians in any police operations in Hela. It has also helped me to respect the rights of the people who are arrested and charged for committing a crime,” Tari Police Station Commander, Senior Inspector John Iara said.

Pacific not immune to armed conflict

Speaking at the 2nd Pacific Islands Roundtable on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in Apia Tuesday, Arrigoni told delegates even though there are currently no armed conflicts in the Pacific region, the Bougainville conflict constituted a non-international armed conflict. 

CS health workers undergo training

Facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the training has been prepared according to the assessment conducted at workplaces on the performances of health workers during their duties.

It has been identified that many of the procedure and practices conducted by health workers in prison do not meet health standards and the PNG Correctional Service is fortunate to have a detention doctor from ICRC facilitate a training on detainee in detention treatment and care.

VIDEO: ICRC partner with media

The ICRC recently established its office in Mt Hagen and wanted to work closely with the media in promoting and informing the people in Western Highlands of its humanitarian programs.

Salome Vincent with more 

 

Police commended for establishing FSVU

Mark Kessler, head of the ICRC Mission in Port Moresby, said rates of domestic and sexual violence were concerning in PNG but the police’s new FSVUs were a step in the right direction.

“Survivors of sexual and domestic violence in PNG often feel like they have nowhere to turn,” he said. “We hope that once these units are up and running, those affected will gain the confidence to seek justice and support from the police.”

Kessler was speaking following the ICRC’s donation of 10 printers and cameras for 10 of the FSVUs, of which 17 have already been established.