May 19, 2021 – Since arriving in Papua New Guinea, the Heart to Heart International medical teams have been conducting training sessions at hospitals in Goroka and Kimbe. Collaborating with the hospital administration and staff on the wards, HHI was able to identify specific topics that would be beneficial to each hospital’s staff. Some topics include COVID basics and supportive care, the COVID vaccine, infection prevention and control, empowerment of nursing, and psychological first aid with an emphasis on burnout. The team has trained a total of 247 individuals, ranging from physicians, nurses, community health workers, hospital administration, nursing students, and housekeeping. The medical teams have also been providing direct patient care on the different wards, including the emergency departments and the COVID units. They have treated a total of 97 patients, including 27 COVID-19-related patients.
May 17, 2021 – The Heart to Heart International medical team in Papua New Guinea presented hospitals with donations of medical supplies. The World Health Organization requested specific items, and the team hand-carried as much as they could into the country. The donations included pulse oximeters, thermometers, nasal cannulas, otoscopes, paper tape, syringes, suction catheters, iodine, and Heparin and were distributed to the COVID unit at the hospital in Goroka and the emergency department at Kimbe General Hospital.
May 9, 2021 – The disaster response team arrived safely in Papua New Guinea. They got to work immediately, touring the hospital in Goroka and discussing with the hospital administration how Heart to Heart International can best help them in the fight against COVID-19.
May 6, 2021 – Since February 2021, Papua New Guinea has been experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. As of April 29, there have been a total of 10,997 confirmed cases, including 107 deaths. The total number of reported cases and deaths are likely significantly underreported due to poor reporting and very limited testing across the country. As of April 26, only 3,075 of the approximately 8.8 million people have received COVID-19 vaccines.
Papua New Guinea also suffers from a critical shortage of human resources for health. Most recently the World Health Organization estimates 0.5 physicians per 10,000 people and 5.3 nurses per 10,000 people.
Because of all of these factors, Heart to Heart International was selected by the World Health Organization to respond in Papua New Guinea. The team will be deploying into and supporting Provincial/District Hospitals to establish effective triage, isolation, and acute care. They will also be training on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) protocols and treatment of COVID-19 patients.
HHI is deploying a team for six weeks to respond to the surge of COVID-19 cases. The team will work at the Goroka Hospital with a small satellite assignment at the Simbu Provincial Hospital in Kundiawa.
The team includes doctors and nurses from across the country. They traveled to Heart to Heart International’s headquarters in Kansas City for training. They will depart as a team on May 6 and will arrive in Papua New Guinea several days later.
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