Lions in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is apart of 201Q2, Papua New Guinea which boasts five Lions Clubs, in Tabubil, Port Moresby, Wabag, Madang, and Lae which also has a Lioness Club, all making up this very large and diversified District.
Zone 12 PNG: Charles Los Amet Club: Tabubil P: 0011 675 6494018 M: 0011 675 72082501 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Port Moresby PNG
Lae Lions Club branch president, Lion Namon Mawason
Meeting with members of various Cairns based Lions International Clubs.@ the Shangri La Hotel, Cairns.
Past District Governor Doug will also visit Lions Clubs in Lae (Lions & Lioness), Tabubil / Kiunga, Pom City Club then back. Could not visit Wabag as the Club was not ready for his visit.
Past International President Barry Palmer visted Madang Lions and inducted 6 new members and presented a Melvin Jones Fellowship to President Joe on 11 March 2016
Lions Eye Care Centre Opens in PNG
Many lives in Papua New Guinea (PNG) will benefit from the opening of the Lions National Resource Centre for Eye Health on the University of PNG (UPNG) campus on March 9, 2016.
PNG has poor outcomes across the range of all health indicators, including sight. Currently eye care delivery in PNG is greatly fragmented. Spectacles and surgical consumables are distributed out of different areas, and low vision device distribution across the country is very limited.
During 2014 Lions Clubs Australia approached Vision 2020 Australia for ideas to develop a funding proposal for PNG. Led by Vision 2020 member, Brien Holden Vision Institute, extensive consultations were held with all PNG stakeholders, including members of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee, UPNG, the Department Of Health and local ophthalmologists.
As a result, it was decided that the best way to support eye health in PNG, was to develop a National Resource Centre for Eye Health (NRC) at UPNG. This to be a centre of excellence for training of ophthalmologists, eye health nurses and spectacle technicians and a national distribution centre for low cost spectacles and LV aids. It will also contribute to the capacity of PNG to address low vision and to address blindness and vision impairment through coordinating National activities.
Following the approach to Lions Australia at the MD Tamworth Convention, Lions Australia via the MD PNG Committee, was successful with a bid to LCIF Sight First for $USD 289,800 = approx. $AUS 400,000, for this significant project.
This Project shows a wonderful outcome following successful collaboration between key partners – Lions Clubs International and its funding arm, LCIF, PNG EyeCare, Brien Holden Vision Institute, CBM PNG (funding an ophthalmology lecturer), UPNG (provided the building for renovation), the Prevention of Blindness Committee PNG, Vision 2020 Australia, and PNG Department of Health.
Lions District 201Q2, via our MD201 PNG Committee, provided the project strategic management, whilst Brien Holden Vision Institute, provided “on the ground” project management.
Samuel Koim, Senior Manager, PNG Eye Care spoke about the new centre. “Too often we see a devastating and, sadly, unnecessary toll on communities and individuals alike which could have been prevented with access to eye care. We must continue to work together to address and increase delivery and awareness within PNG. We are very grateful to Lions for their investment in the Lions National Resource Centre for Eye Health.”
The well attended Opening was officially conducted by the PNG Minister for Education, Research and Science, Malakai Tabar, in the presence of PIP Barry Palmer, currently Vice Chair LCIF, and Amanda Davis, COO Public Health, Brien Holden Vision Institute.
In addition to Barry Palmer, Lions Australia was represented by 201 CC Phillip Johnson, Q2 DG Kath Scully and PDG Gary Kenny, MD PNG Committee Projects Coordinator. PNG Lions also attended in numbers and arranged several colourful cultural displays.
Barry Palmer said following the opening “ It was my privilege to represent LCIF at the opening of the new Lions National Resource Centre for Eye Health in Port Moresby. This outstanding centre has been made possible because of the support of LCIF and partners working together to benefit all of PNG. Well done also to all the Lions involved in making this Dream come true. “
The Lions party, led by PIP Barry Palmer, being probably the first International Lions Officer to visit PNG, took the opportunity to also visit Lae and Madang where they gained firsthand knowledge of many needs in PNG, evident and presented. There are a number of potential project options that can be considered for future support.
In addition, during the visits to Clubs, PIP Barry inducted twelve new members into the world of Lions.
PDG Gary Kenny
MD PNG Committee Projects Coordinator
PIP Barry Palmer meeting with Dr Jambi Garap Deputy Chief Ophthalmologist, PNG, and a local Lion in cultural dress, Some of the well-received eye testing equipment, provided in the new Lions Centre
$700 can save a mother’s and baby’s life
Birthing Mothers Project in PNG
On the doorstep of Australia, “five women die in childbirth every day”.
Yes Lions – that is the case in PNG.
This is also further described statistically as maternal mortality ratio (MMR):-
Australia 6/100,000 versus PNG 750/100,000
In essence, other than family planning – only one intervention has been shown to reduce or prevent maternal deaths in circumstances such as in PNG namely:-
Encourage mothers to have a supervised delivery
In Australia, access to safe and hygienic maternal health care services is a given rather than a privilege. However, currently in PNG only 36% of births are attended by a skilled health care worker and less than 30% of women have a supervised delivery in a health care facility – a situation that all too often leads to birthing complications and, as a result, death.
Simply, women continue to die in numbers every day, of every week, on the doorstep of Australia – and the Lions of Australia can do something about it!
We are approaching every Lions Clubs of Australia via their Districts, to consider small funding support for some simple projects to provide assistance to the birthing mothers of PNG. This approach has received the tacit “go–ahead” of the Governors at their January Council meeting.
Bush Huts – it has been identified that mothers can walk 30/40 miles to the health centre, then are turned away as not “term”, then later die from blood loss beside a track in the open heat and rain, trying to walk back to a supervised delivery. Of course, often the baby dies at the same time.
What has proven successful is the provision of bush huts beside the health centres allowing mothers to stay in a culturally acceptable and familiar “hut” near to supervision, pending delivery. These need to be locally made and can be provided at about $700 AUD.
Baby Bundles – one of the issues identified in PNG is that mothers in remote areas are poor with little food and clothing, are very shy and they simply do not understand the need for supervision in birthing.
What has been successfully trialled in remote areas is the provision of an incentive to attend the health centre for birth via a “baby bundle” with some basic needs for both mother and baby in a baby bath. These cost 50-60 kina or about $25 AUD.
District Q2 has already provided $6500 for some initial bush huts and baby bundles – attached are some photos of these first huts and baby bundles arriving in bulk.
Health Centres – many health centres in remote areas of PNG are extremely basic and lack water, power and with a general lack of communications.
Advice is that deliveries even in health centres are often undertaken by torchlight at night.
It is considered that in a tropical sunlit country, the provision of solar power and satellite phones at health centres in a variety of locations MAY be reasonably easy to achieve.
This is being investigated as a potential project. Costings will revolve around bulk purchase arrangements and local installation.
The Mechanics of Proposal
A campaign for “one off” donations via Australian Lions Clubs is being administered by the MD PNG Committee, under the authority of District 201Q2.
It is believed that these small projects are eminently affordable by individual Lions Clubs with the real health and human benefit to cost ratio for a modest outlay being enormous.
In fact it is suggested that provision of $25 or $700 will save the life of a mother and a child.
PDG Gary Kenny
MD PNG Committee, Project Officer
LCIF Sight First Project for PNG
PNG has poor outcomes across the range of all health indicators, including sight.
Currently eye care delivery in PNG is greatly fragmented. Spectacles and surgical consumables are distributed out of different areas (yet in many cases to the same hospitals), and low vision device distribution across the country is very limited.
The coordination of these efforts would help to reduce costs, and improve reach, allowing for better use of resources.
Following an approach from Vision 2020 Australia and a consortium of eye care providers in PNG, Lions Australia has been successful with a bid to LCIF Sight First for $289,800 USD (equal to about $370,000 AUD on current exchange) for a significant project to better deliver sight services.
The Vision 2020 consortium drafted a broad proposal and following evaluation, it was agreed that the MD PNG Committee, under the authority of District Q2 (under whom PNG Lions reside), would pursue a bid for an LCIF Sight First Grant to fund and facilitate this project.
The aim of the project is to develop a National Resource Centre (NRC) within the University of PNG in Port Moresby, which will provide a facility for the training of future eye care professionals, and provide a national low cost spectacle and low vision device distribution centre. It will also contribute to the capacity of PNG to address low vision and to address blindness and vision impairment through coordinating National activities.
District Q2 via the MD Committee is providing the funding and project strategic management, whilst Brien Holden Vision Institute is providing “on the ground” project management.
The project will run for about two years, with Lions picking up the capital costs and other parties the recurrent (labour etc.). Lions name via LCIF will be on the NRC in perpetuity.
Thanks to LCIF Sight First. this outstanding project will deliver real sight health benefits for the disadvantaged PNG population, whilst building on the capacity of local Lions via their involvement in mentoring, advocacy, and other support.
PDG Gary Kenny
MD PNG Committee, Project Officer