Speeches Shim

Papua New Guinea suffers from the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands. USAID works with the government and civil society and seeks to reach full epidemic control by improving retention, achieving viral load suppression and transitioning to a sustainable domestic financing and civil society-led response. In addition, Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of tuberculosis (TB) in the Pacific Islands region and one of the highest rates of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world. USAID partners with the Government of Papua New Guinea to effectively respond to MDR-TB and was instrumental in helping to slow the 2018 polio outbreak.


USAID HIV Support in Papua New Guinea
PNG suffers from the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific Islands. USAID provides technical assistance to local clinics and communities to improve HIV case identification, linkages to treatment, and increase retention of people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy (ART). USAID also integrates and institutionalizes gender-based violence services into HIV programming and supports the transition from The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to domestic planning, financing, and allocation of resources.

To support PNG’s COVID-19 response, this Activity is also assisting clinics in the National Capital District to build capacity on infection prevention and control, expand testing capacity, support isolation and containment efforts, train health care workers, upgrade WASH facilities, facilitate contact tracing and mobilize outreach workers to engage communities around COVID prevention, treatment and vaccination. Additional technical assistance, planned in coordination with other donors, such as strengthening national-level coordination, planning, quality assurance and capacity development to support World Bank-provided lab equipment, is bolstering the overall donor response.

Strengthening Continuity of Essential Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender-based Violence Services During Health Pandemics and Natural Disasters
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) strengthens the national health systems in each of the Pacific Island countries and reinforced through the provision of reproductive health kits commodities, capacity building on Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP), Gender-based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE), Adolescent and Sexual and Reproductive Health in Emergencies (ASHRIE).

This work is establishing Women Friendly Spaces, supported with the deployment of senior midwives for 2-3 months. The MISP and GBViE training packages are considered as international standards in humanitarian action. The Joint Incident Management Team (JIMT) Supplementary Guidance for the Pacific Region to ensure continuity of services will be rolled out through training to provide direct customized support in national adaptation and implementation of these guidelines. This work will strengthen referral pathways for GBV survivors in line with national GBV Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and capacity of health providers for clinical management through training, providing post exposure preventative (PEP) Kits, and engaging communities for prevention and risk mitigation.

Key elements of the package of support for each country are: strengthening health system operational capacity for implementing Women Friendly Spaces, use of telehealth technologies for Sexual and Reproductive Health, and national prepositioning of Reproductive Health Inter-Agency Kits and female dignity kits. Complementing the Women Friendly Spaces outreach services will be scaled up to ensure wider coverage of SRH services, especially when there is currently no community COVID-19 transmission happening in the country. The telehealth approach will be tapped when the need to minimize in-person visits is required especially during community outbreaks. In addition, UNFPA will work with countries to set up low-tech telehealth services to ensure that women, young people and vulnerable groups will continue to have access to contraceptives, ante-natal, pre-natal, referral, and other relevant support. The telehealth initiative is the UNFPA-South Pacific Office response to support services where the needs are greatest.

Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC)
This activity coordinates with the National Department of Health and Provincial Health Authorities to support critical vaccine deployment activities in PNG including 1) planning, coordination, policy and strategy development; 2) service delivery; 3) health workforce mobilization and training; 4) communications, demand generation and community engagement; 5) logistics; 6) monitoring and evaluation.

In November 2021, EpiC was awarded an additional $4,000,000 in ARPA funding for COVID-19 surge procurement support. This funding will procure critical medical supplies and commodities to support oxygen therapy and delivery, clinical monitoring and management for 89 health facilities across 22 provinces.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) COVID Vaccine Technical Assistance Support in the Pacific
This activity supports vaccine readiness, delivery and post-delivery monitoring in several countries. Technical assistance is provided in policy, planning and coordination, cold chain monitoring and vaccine management, communications, community engagement and demand generation, service delivery, health workforce support, and monitoring and evaluation.

UNICEF Emergency COVID Support to Fiji
In light of the ongoing COVID case surge in Fiji, USAID through UNICEF will procure essential infection prevention control and WASH supplies and commodities for health facilities in Fiji. Additionally, the activity will procure lab equipment to support ongoing testing.

Scaling Up Universal Salt Iodization to Eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders
This activity will improve access and availability of iodized salt by improving production, establishing quality assurance and quality control protocols, and positioning salt iodization high in the country’s health discourse. The activity will advocate for updates to legislation and support ongoing efforts to distribute iodine capsules in remote areas.

Accelerating Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Western Pacific Region
This activity will help end painful and disfiguring neglected tropical diseases, such as Lymphatic Filariasis (LF). USAID’s funding will accelerate LF elimination in remaining endemic countries through: supporting implementation of Mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns; supporting countries to access pharmaceutical donation programs; and conducting impact evaluations to determine disease elimination, and assembling elimination documentation for WHO review. Additionally, USAID will strengthen National NTD Programs by strengthening integrated approaches to controlling and eliminating NTDs and strengthening health systems' capacity to diagnose, refer and provide NTD services, through routine primary health care and surveillance systems.

Last updated: November 25, 2022

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