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WHERE IS ANGUGANAK?

Anguganak is in Sandaun Province (formerly West Sepik Province) is the north-westernmost province of Papua New Guinea. The province covers an area of 35,920 km² and has a population of 248,411 (2011 census).

 

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THE CONVENOR 

Steven Meibo has agreed to be the local supervisor of the project. He is a respected local chemical engineer, a visionary, entrepreneurial Christian leader. He has the confident support of the local leaders and they recently appointed him as the voluntary Anguganak Mission Station CEO.

Steven recently oversaw the building of an extra classroom for the expanding school. He recruited support for the construction, including supply of kwila foundation posts, flooring, and matting for walls, with voluntary labour from 13 villages.

Steven managed the funds and promptly supplied invoices, receipts and photographic evidence of the progress.

There have been several other key stakeholders involved in the planning. Mechanical Engineer and draftsman Barry Stevenson from New Zealand, visited Anguganak in May, drew the plans and had continues to be involved with the project through email.

Dr Max Stevenson has also taken great interest in the project and been involved in discussion.

 

BACKGROUND

Anguganak Mission Station and the Health Service were started by Christian Brethren Church (CBC) missionaries from New Zealand and Australia. Anguganak is CBC’s main mission station and originally provided the surrounding community with a full functioning training hospital, a bible school, primary school, air strip and saw mill. After independence in 1975 the missionaries gradually transitioned the responsibility and ownership of Anguganak mission station to the PNG Christian Brethren Church. Sadly, as with much of the country the infrastructure and standards have deteriorated; the hospital is now officially only recognized as a health sub centre because of its lack of water, poor vaccination cold chain record and poor-quality ward.

Over 18000 of the people living in Nuku district, Sandaun Province, PNG rely on Anguganak Health Care Centre and its surrounding aid posts for their health needs. Run down because of lack of funds, the Health Centre can no longer supply even basic hygiene and sanitation. The main hospital building has limited intact guttering and only one working water tank, when the tank is below 2/3 full the water ceases to flow, taps stop working and toilets can’t be used. PNG has an overall high rainfall but also definite wet and dry seasons, so running out of clean water is a problem many PNG communities face unless they have iron roofs with guttering and generous size tanks.

The Anguganak Healthy Motherhood Project, started in 2015, by Christian midwife Debbie Butters and undertaken in partnership with Christian Brethren Church, endorses Health Care Centre births as the safest choice. A gift bag of items for each new mother and baby is provided when they birth at the Anguganak Health Care Centre. Statistics are showing an improvement, but there remains some reluctance with women to birth at Anguganak because of the state of the facilities, especially the issue of no water and no functioning maternity ward. Improving the standard of the health care centre will have a flow on effect of improving outcomes for mothers and babies during childbirth.

 

THE NEED

The Health Facility is in need of a reliable year-round water supply. 

Ample readily available clean water is essential for health care.

  • As more women seek the safest option of a health care centre birth it is imperative that the centre is capable of providing a safe clean environment and that staff are able to prevent cross infection through good hand hygiene.
  • Handwashing, clean equipment, clean environment, water for drinking and general hygiene and sanitation all require a reliable water supply.
  • Labouring women should be provided with privacy and dignity through the provision of sheets on the labour bed. Without reliable water this basic courtesy cannot be offered as soiled linen cannot be laundered.

 

THE AIM

Clean water available in abundance so that hand washing, hygiene, sanitation and cleaning can be achieved at the Health Centre. Safe drinking water provided for patients, staff and community attending health facilities.

 

THE SOLUTION

It is important to find a solution that is simple to use and doesn’t require complex maintenance. Avoiding the need for pumps or the need for a generator would be ideal as this would ensure the water is readily available at all times.

A gravity fed water supply has been deemed the best solution but there is only a gentle slope behind the Health Facility. Built on a plateau the Health Centre is elevated above the rest of the mission station.

  Many skilled stakeholders have participated in planning a solution; a roofed structure over 8 X 5000L tanks, all placed on a platform. This should be built behind the health centre on the gentle slope to reduce the height of the structure. Using 8 tanks would also reduce the risk of a leaking taps or toilets accidently draining water from all tanks.

 

DONATIONS

This safe motherhood Program is asking for $20,000 AUD to purchase the materials and will be using hundreds of volunteer hours to complete the work required

 


DONATE HERE


 

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HSA works in partnership with other international organisations, complementing their strengths with health resources. It has a special relationship with the largest group of Christian health professionals in Australia, the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia (CMDFA) through which it was established. Many of the CMDFA members have worked for a number of years overseas in health work.

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