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Western Health Programs transition vital in health service delivery

Posted by PNG Today | August 30, 2016 | Posted in , ,


Health services providers in Western Province have agreed on a way forward for the coordination of services for the next two years.

At a meeting in Kiunga recently, service providers met to endorse a transition plan that outlines the future activities of two health partnership programs currently operating in Western - the Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP) and the North Fly Health Services Development Program (NFHSDP).

Both Programs will finish in 2018 and partner organisations have been discussing the best way to maintain and further improve health outcomes once the Programs end.
The 2015 Sector Performance Annual Review released by the National Department of Health in June shows Western Province in the top five best performing provinces in 2015. This is a significant improvement from the 2013 report when Western was ranked last and testament to the health outcomes achieved by these programs.

Director of Rural Health Services in Western, Mrs Alice Honjepari opened the meeting. She remarked that “This meeting is important because we will table and discuss a way forward for health in the province particularly the North Fly and CMCA regions. We must bear in mind the challenges we face every day trying to deliver basic health services to the population”.
A critical focus for all partners is ensuring that the collaborative approach established through the Programs continues. Catholic Health Services Manager, Sr Anna Sanginawa said “Districts need to work together for a successful transition”.
The Programs are partnerships with local health service providers: Provincial Health Office, District Health staff in North Fly, Middle Fly and South Fly Districts, Catholic Health Services and Evangelical Church of PNG Health Services. Both Programs are managed by Ok Tedi Development Foundation

(OTDF), funded by the CMCA portion of the Western Province People’s Dividend Trust Fund and Ok Tedi Mining Ltd with Abt Associates (formerly Abt JTA) as the implementing partner.
A midline evaluation of CMSFHP in 2015 showed that the Program has been positively received by communities and health workers thus far. The attribution of improvements is both from the outreach services provided by the Program team as well as increased service delivery at health facilities.
OTDF’s Manager of Program Services, Mr Eric Kuman said “We have to find a sustainable way of moving the health delivery forward. We need to collaborate to find that way forward”.
A key focus for the remainder of the Programs is to move away from direct inputs and towards working with partners to identify impediments to achieving sustainable health services. The transition plan outlines the outcomes required to maintain achievements beyond 2018.

Three key outcomes were agreed in the meeting. Health service partners agreed to continue to work collaboratively to plan and coordinate health services to communities in Western Province.
Partners also agreed that efforts must be made to ensure rural health facilities are equipped to deliver essential primary health care services. These includes essential obstetric and newborn care, family planning, child health, immunisation and the management of pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and other common childhood diseases; and, that TB is effectively managed in the community.
The third key outcome was that resources are maintained for individuals and communities to play an active role in improving their own health and welfare through adopting the Healthy Village concept.
NFHSDP is funded by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, while CMSFHP is funded by the OTDF. Both Programs are managed by OTDF and implemented by Abt Associates.

PM O’Neill to Chair Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders in Hawaii Climate Change and Security Among Key Issues Ahead of US Election

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea,  Peter O’Neill  said he expects Pacific Island nations to come out of regional discussions with the United States this week holding a stronger collective perspective on key regional issues including climate change and security.
PM O’Neill arrived in Hawaii, in the United States, this morning where he will Chair the 10th Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders (PICL) from 30 August (31 August in PNG).
The meeting will be attended by Leaders and officials from Pacific Island nations and the United States and cover a number of regional integration and cooperation issues.
The Prime Minister said the timing of this conference is also important with a new President of the United States to be elected in the coming months.

“Soon, a new President of the United States will be elected and sworn in,” the Prime Minister said.
“Pacific Island nations have a very positive relationship with President Obama, and we look to working with the next United States Government.
“We have the opportunity at this conference to work with US officials to prepare for the change of Government so that we can hit he ground running when the new President is inaugurated next January.”
The Prime Minister said one of the important features of the PICL is the access it provides to some of the best research scholars and policy officials in the region.
“In the past this has covered research in areas that include the drawdown of RAMSI, maritime issues, the future of seabed mining and other significant regional matters.
“This week, we have a number of important topics before us including regional safety and security and these are issues affect all Pacific Island nations.
“The international community has a number of concerns at the moment including maritime disputes, the spread of terrorist attacks, global economic instability and the constant threat of extreme weather caused by climate change.
“We must manage current political tensions through dialogue, and we must manage economic challenges by sticking with sensible financial management.
“Pacific Islands nations cannot take on these issues alone, we must partner with other like-minded nations and stand for our interests in the global community.”

The Prime Minister was last in Hawaii for the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Summit, which he said was well orgainsed and provides examples for Papua New Guinea in 2018.
“Hawaiians are Pacific Islanders and we share many cultural similarities.
“APEC in Hawaii was well run and we will draw from their experience as we deliver a very Pacific-style APEC in 2018.”

PNG's credibility in hosting 2017 Rugby League World Cup matches questioned after violence

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The violent actions of a Mt Hagen Eagles rugby league official over the weekend on a Digicel Cup match official has garnered widespread International and local condemnation resulting in many questioning PNG’s credential as a host nation to the Rugby league World Cup (RLWC) 2017, this was revealed by Minister for Sports and National Events Justin Tketchenko.

Minister Tketchenko revealed that a lot had been invested to bring the national sport (Rugby League) of the country out of the sad state it was in a few years ago, and while there a positive aspects of the games progression in recent times, this one act has brought the country into the spot light for all the wrong reason bringing the game in disrepute.

“I haven’t met the new RLWC CEO Andrew Hill yet, but I will have to brief him on the incident at the Digicel Cup, it brings question marks to our capability of hosting this event, this is not a small thing this has caused a huge problem for us on the international scene, the stupidity of this person and this act has damaged us in more ways than one.” Stated Tketchenko.

With PNG earmarked to host the RLWC 2017 along with Australia and New Zealand between the 26th of October 2016 and the 02nd of December 2017, Sports Minister Tketchenko ended on a high note saying that regardless of one or two individuals tarnishing the countries reputation he will in his capacity ensure that the RLWC goes ahead in PNG and highlighted that we need to keep moving forward and promoting sports and the country and ensuring everything is ready for the sporting fixtures that are still to come.

PNGFM/ PNG Today

USP’s Pasifika Voices headhunted by Hollywood Disney Moana Movie

Posted by PNG Today | August 29, 2016 | Posted in

The University of the South Pacific’s Pasifika Voices based at the Oceania Centre have secured the official contract of providing a choir for the soundtrack of the much anticipated Hollywood Disney animation Moana
Moana is an upcoming 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, the 56th film in Disney's animated features canon, and is being directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
The film introduces Auli’i Cravalho as Moana and features Dwayne Johnson, also known as the ‘The Rock’ who is the highest earning Pacific Islander. The animation film is scheduled to be released by Walt Disney Pictures in November, 2016.
The exclusive Disney family is known to only work with the world’s best & elite performers, ‘actors and singers.
From a small dot in the vast ocean, barely seen on the world map ‘Pasifika Voices’, made  up of 18 of Fiji’s finest voices plus two young men from the Solomon Islands,  led by renowned Pacific maestro and Head of Performing Arts at the USP Oceania Centre, Igelese Ete were chosen to be the official recording choir.
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra said it is a historic moment for our local talent that our singers and artists are recognised in Hollywood at the highest level.
“I understand that the Producer, Composer, and Director have all given rave reviews of this recording. This recording by Disney demonstrates that our music and arts programmes produce world-class talent,” he noted.
Professor Chandra added that Pasifika Voices has been a major part of USP’s graduations for the past 10 years and is made up of students from all around the region and led by exceptionally talented staff.
An elated Mr Ete said this contract is a feat of great magnitude and acknowledgement to the talents of the people of the Pacific.
“It is fair to say that Hollywood Disney Animation is the ‘Olympics’ of the entertainment world, especially for children,” he said.
Moana Disney’s Producer Osnat  Shurer was so inspired by Pasifika Voices that even with the strict embargo, she could not contain her excitement as she left Fiji with the Disney crew to return to the mecca of entertainment Hollywood, she tweeted  “Amazing choir recording for our score-thank you from #Moana” with a picture of Pasifika Voices in recording mode”.
With the Directors totally in awe of the sound  and spirit of the choir, the lion king & famed Hollywood Film composer Mark Mancina describing on an email to Mr Ete, “Everything I’ve heard so far has been incredible”.
“This will lead to what will be the first ever official Red Carpet Movie Premiere of Hollywood proportions for the Global Release towards the end of year on November 23rd, attended by our very own vocal stars of Pasifika Voices and also rumor has it the Hollywood Mega- Superstar Samoan/Pacific Islander Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be attending,” Mr Ete said. 

UPNG Students leaders permanently excluded from studies

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,


As the University of Papua New Guinea prepares to resume classes next week on the 5th of September,certain student leaders who led the recent student protest have been given letters of permanent exclusion from the university management. A student leader provided  to the media , a copy of the letter from the office of the Pro- Vice Chancellor signed by the Acting Pro-Voice Chancellor Professor Mange Matui and served to a student leader informing the student leader of permanent exclusion  from studies at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Parts of the letter as quoted stated that “your conduct during the unrest is indecorous, detrimental to the interest of the university, affects peace and good order in the university community, and borders on criminality.”
Upon being permanently excluded from the university, the student leaders are now given seven days to appeal to the University Administration to continue with other students.
According to  UPNG Acting Chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann  this is the normal process that is taken by any institution when institutional regulations are breached. Dr Mann says those student leaders implicated will have to go thru the normal process of disciplinary actions to ensure that justice is done to guarantee the safety of students as classes resume....read more on >> PNG Education News Online

The students were given  two weeks to appeal.  PNGFM/PNG Today

U.S. Government and Papua New Guinea Forge New Partnership to Strengthen the Country’s Environmental Resilience

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: On August 24, 2016, the United States and the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea signed a new bilateral assistance agreement that will provide $1.5 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s environmental resilience. This is the first tranche of an estimated $7.5 million package over five years, subject to the availability of funds, to support Papua New Guinea’s priorities in biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation.

The new agreement resulted from close consultations between USAID and the Government of Papua New Guinea’s Department of National Planning and Monitoring, Conservation and Environment Protection Authority, and the Climate Change and Development Authority.

“This new agreement demonstrates the commitment of the American people to invest in the security and sustainable economic growth of Papua New Guinea. The U.S. Government and the American people are proud to stand with the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as partners in strengthening the country’s environmental resilience,” said U.S. Ambassador for Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Catherine Ebert-Gray.

Ambassador Ebert-Gray also congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea “for becoming the 23rd nation on our planet to ratify the Paris Climate Change Agreement.  This sends a powerful signal to the citizens of Papua New Guinea and the world of your commitment to preserving your environment.”

The wealth of Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity is globally recognized. Papua New Guinea’s forests represent the third largest expanse of tropical rainforest in the world, and the country’s adjacent seas form part of the Coral Triangle region, which has the world’s highest level of marine biodiversity.

Papua New Guinea’s rich and unique biodiversity resources, however, are also among the world’s most threatened. Major threats to Papua New Guinea’s biodiversity include rapid and substantial deforestation and forest degradation; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; pollution; industrial activities; and climate change. And it’s the poor - whose livelihoods depend directly on the natural world - who are impacted the most from these environmental threats.

Photo: U.S. Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray, USAID Mission Director for the Philippines, Pacific Islands, and Mongolia, Dr. Susan Brems and Minister for National Planning, Charles Abel after the signing of the bilateral assistance agreement.

Media Release

Home final for PNG Hunters against Sunshine Coast Falcons

Posted by PNG Today | August 28, 2016 | Posted in ,

The Papua New Guinea Hunters will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons in the first round of finals at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. This is the  first time the Hunters will host a home final.

According to QRL, the Redcliffe Dolphins have won the minor premiership after edging out the Burleigh Bears. The two teams will meet in Week 2 of the finals for a spot in the September 25 grand final at Suncorp Stadium.

In the elimination final next week,  Townsville Blackhawks will host East Tigers at  Jack Manski Oval. This game will be televised live on Channel 9 at 1:40 pm on Sunday.

The PNG Hunters will take on Sunshine Coast Falcons at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby. TVWAN will telecast the game live for PNG viewers at 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Tickets for the PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons are on sale at the Big Rooster outlets.



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