Vanimo hospital gets K7.8 million facelift to boost maternal health

02/11/2012 05:57

AusAID first secretary (policy & coordination) Kanu Negi

unveiling plaque for single accomodation. Words and pictures

courtesy of AusAID.




MATERNAL health in Sandaun province was given a major boost with the commissioning of a 36-room female accommodation and 12 two-bedroom units at Vanimo hospital.
The expansion to the provincial hospital was funded by a K7.8 million grant from the Australian government’s Incentive Fund. A two-storey administration building and a social support services building are also part of the new infrastructure.
The PNG Department of Health deputy secretary, Dr Paison Dakulala, praised the PNG-Australia partnership and described the Incentive Fund as one of the most effective donor funded programs.
“On behalf of the government of PNG I thank the government of Australia for its continued partnership in PNG’s development. This critical partnership can be seen in and is reflected through the PNG Incentive Fund Program, which stands out as one of the most effective donor funded programs in PNG,” he said.
“The Incentive Fund is the result of the partnership between the governments of PNG and Australia to make the aid program more effective and earlier phases of the program have successfully funded bridges, roads, town markets, school and health infrastructure.”
Stuart Schaefer, the head of AusAID in PNG, highlighted the impact that the new facilities would have on maternal mortality in Sandaun province.
“More women will be attracted to the health workforce while clinical services will be upgraded as a result of this improvement to the hospital. There will also be fewer women dying in child birth. AusAID is helping the Government of PNG improve health service delivery on a number of levels. We are helping PNG attract and retain skilled staff to the health sector, training health staff in institutions both in Australia and PNG, funding health infrastructure, and supporting the government to reform how the health system is run,” he said.

Joe Sungi, Inter-Government Relations Vice Minister and

Nuku MP, and Australian government representatives

signifying the partnership for development between PNG and


The administration building will house dental and x-ray services and conference facilities on the ground floor, with the hospital’s senior management team, human resources, accounts, and information technology on the top floor.
To strengthen the administration and management of the hospital, a local area network (LAN) was also set up along with a computerized payroll system.
According to the hospital’s CEO Elias Kapavore the facility’s expansion had the potential to attract medical professionals and would translate to better health outcomes for the province’s population in the long-term.
“With the majority of our population living outside of major capital cities, this hospital upgrade is an important step in providing health services and attracting key medical personnel to the Provinces. The hospital now has 13 medical officers with major disciplines in surgery, internal medicine and maternal and child health. This is a direct result of the construction of accommodation.  Such substantial development assistance will directly benefit the lives of the men, women and children of Sandaun. This ultimately will mean a quality of life for regional families.”
The PNG-Australia Incentive Fund rewards high-performing organizations such as the Vanimo Hospital, which have a proven track record in contributing to PNG’s development.
The hospital, which is the main health facility in the border province, was previously supported by the Australian and PNG governments with infrastructure improvements, including an upgraded maternity and children’s wing, an STI clinic and the installation of an incinerator for hygienic surgical waste disposal.