In July, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a project for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in Gulf province.
MSF started supporting Kerema general hospital this year to improve detection rates for TB. The hospital, including the laboratory, was renovated and a consultation room for suspected TB cases was set up. Over 290 people were diagnosed and treated, and patient education and counselling activities were organised. Teams also began to offer diagnosis and treatment to people living in remote areas, some only accessible by boat. MSF and the US technology company Matternet successfully trialled the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the transportation of sputum samples and results between distant health centres and Kerema hospital.
Sexual, domestic, social and tribal violence
Domestic and sexual violence remains a medical humanitarian emergency in Papua New Guinea, with consequences at individual, family and national level. MSF is working with the health authorities to provide access to free, good-quality, confidential and integrated medical care for victims.
At the Port Moresby Regional Treatment and Training project, 50,000 people attended awareness sessions outlining the care available to the victims of sexual violence. Over 900 people were seen as outpatients, and there were 265 first consultations for rape. In Southern Highlands province, the MSF team at Tari hospital performed 1,190 major surgical interventions, and also continued to provide medical and psychosocial care for victims of violence. In June, MSF handed over its maternal and child health project in Buin to the provincial health authorities.
Emergency intervention in the Solomon Islands
In April, the Solomon Islands were hit by flash floods and landslides. Approximately 10,000 people in the capital Honiara were made homeless, and bridges, roads and some health centres were destroyed. MSF set up mobile clinics in the temporary shelters, and carried out 1,443 medical consultations. The teams also offered mental health sessions, training in psychological first aid and monitored potential disease outbreaks. MSF implemented a programme raising awareness of sexual violence, which had been planned before the floods occurred. The provision of relevant services in Honiara and Guadalcanal province were also increased.
No. staff in 2014: 219 | Expenditure: €5.3 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1992 | msf.org/png