PNG Health Care Manual 3rd Edition Project

Health Care Manual for Community Workers in PNG - 3rd edition "HCM3"    



  • Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Papua New Guinea are vital for providing primary health care to the people. They are a first point of contact for those who need health care, and in rural and remote areas they are often the only available source of medical assistance and health education for the community.
  • The late Dr Clifford Smith was the author of The Health Care Manual (1st & 2nd editions). This 800-page manual is specific to PNG primary health care needs and is widely respected and well-known in PNG. It has been used as key text for CHW training schools, to underpin CHW training materials, and as an ongoing practice manual in the field.
    • 2nd edb
  • However the Health Care Manual currently in use has not been updated in 20 years, and therefore much of the information is out-of-date and not in line with current practices and protocols.
  • It has also been out of print for many years, with relatively few copies still in circulation, making it difficult for CHWs to access this essential information.


  • In late 2012 HealthServe Australia developed the Health Care Manual Feasibility Project to advocate for the development of the 3rd Edition of the manual.
  • HealthServe’s fundraising efforts, strongly supported by Terrigal Uniting Church, assisted the late Dr Clifford Smith to conduct several feasibility visits to PNG where he made contact with many stakeholders in an effort to secure support, endorsement and funding.
  • Dr Smith achieved project endorsement at the annual Christian Health Services Conference in 2013 and agreement by Baptist Union Papua New Guinea (BUPNG) to be the lead agency for the project however funding was not able to be achieved at that time.
  • Prior to his passing in Feb 2015, Dr Clifford Smith endorsed Dr John Oakley to take over his role as Commissioning Editor.
  • Upholding Cliff’s legacy and with the support of HealthServe Australia, Dr John Oakley, Roslyn Copas (AusVoc Educational Publishing who had advocated for the project since 2007) and Gerri Koelma (Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser who had assisted Cliff develop project proposals since 2012) formed the ‘HCM3 Project Management Team’ and met with BUPNG in Port Moresby in June 2015. In faith, BUPNG then commenced the HCM3 project.

HCM3 meeting June 2015 25

Dr John Oakley, Esther Kuri, Gerri Koelma, Michael Elton, Roslyn Copas, Bernard Rutmat

John Kaewa, Joseph Lakai, Kevin Bong, Joseph Sika, Mary Kililo

Project Term:

June 2015 - June 2018.



Project Goals:

  • To develop a fully revised and updated 3rd edition of the Health Care Manual (HCM3), based on current health care information and suitable for use by Community Health Workers (CHWs) to meet PNG health standards.
    • To distribute 15,000 free copies of HCM3 to all CHW training schools and CHWs across PNG.
    • To build knowledge and skills of publishing processes for all involved in the project.

Project progress in Year 1 (2015/16):

  • Joyce Melepia was appointed to the Project Management Team as the in-country Project Manager, based in Mt Hagen. Joyce does an amazing job in managing the project and maintaining key stakeholder relationships.
  • HealthServe Australia became a technical partner to the HCM3 project.
  • The project achieved the endorsement and support of key stakeholders in PNG, including the Church Partnership Program (CPP), Christian Health Services (CHS), the PNG National Department of Health (NDoH), and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
  • Prayers were answered when the project received funding for the whole of Year 1 and substantial funding for Year 2 from CPP, CHS, and NDoH.
  • All planned outcomes for Year 1 were achieved.
  • In June 2016 consultation workshops with Community Health Workers from the field and teaching in training schools were held in each of the four health districts. The information obtained will assist to inform HCM3 content development.


Project progress in Year 2 (2016/17):

  • We give glory to God that the HCM3 project is now halfway through Year 2!
  • The first drafts of HCM3 are now in progress and planned activities are on track.
  • Further financial contributions have been committed by the churches in PNG.
  • BUPNG distributed its first HCM3 Annual Report 
  • BUPNG distributed 2 project newsletters 

HealthServe Australia is very thankful for the commitment, prayers and financial donations of the many people who have supported this project over many years.

We ask for your continued prayers for the project.



Healthserve Australia Pty Ltd ABN: 42 958 367 110

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Healthserve Melbourne Conference 2017

Sydney 14 October

3:30pm to 5:30pm

 333 Exhibition St Melb