Healthy outcomes

THE ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG project has partnered with the Papua New Guinean government and non-government organisations to provide new medical equipment and hygiene programs.
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Community health initiatives are ongoing as part of a commitment to build sustainable health capacity and infrastructure within the project's impact areas.

Three GeneXpert machines for diagnosis of tuberculosis will be provided to medical facilities in Kikori, Madang and Port Moresby under the partnership.

The project is also working with Population Services International to support the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program.

It includes the distribution of safe water and diarrheal treatment items to prevent and manage illness, a community-led total sanitation initiative and awareness education about personal hygiene behaviour.

In addition to supporting local health institutions, the PNG LNG project has also sent 10 trainees to Dallas in the US, to take part in biomedical equipment repair training for six months with MediSend International.

PNG LNG project executive Decie Autin said faster and more accurate technology would allow for early intervention in tuberculosis cases to enable higher quality treatment.

"We recognise that the incidence of tuberculosis is high in Papua New Guinean communities," she said.

"As a result, we are committed to improving diagnostic practices and treatment to minimise this debilitating disease.

"Traditionally, people have had to wait six to eight weeks for a result. The GeneXpert machines can provide a same day response with 98 per cent accuracy, so the correct course of treatment can be prescribed immediately."

"Protecting the health and safety of project workers and local communities, as well as the environment in which project-related activities occur is a core value for the project," Autin added.

The $US15 billion PNG LNG project, which includes gas production and processing facilities, onshore and offshore pipelines and liquefaction facilities, is on target to deliver first LNG in 2014.

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