IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, has showcased Exxon's community health impact management program in its recently released Health Impact Assessment Guide as an example of industry best practice.
The program was developed in partnership with the PNG Institute of Medical Research to improve the country's data collection and health diagnostics.
The partnership included working with the University of Papua New Guinea's School of Medicine and Health Services to fund, build and outfit the National Infectious Disease Diagnostic and Research Laboratory and train its staff to World Health organisation gold standards.
The state of the art facility is managed by the Institute of Medical Research and is used to advance important biomedical research in tropical medicine as well as research for infectious diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis.
The health impact assessment case study on the PNG LNG project highlights how industry can enhance diagnostic and health data collection capacity of government institutions to both support workforce and community health.
Exxon PNG MD Andrew Barry said a key component of the health program was the integrated Health Demographic Surveillance System which monitors the impact of the PNG LNG project on the health of communities within project areas.
"The importance of establishing effective partnerships with government, universities and non-government organisations to support sustainable health sector improvements was realised early on and continues to be a priority.
"We are honoured to be featured in IPIECA's Health Impact Assessment Guide as an example of best practice and to illustrate what can be accomplished when industry and government work together," Barry said.
The institute technical team, led by Dr Bang Nguyen Pham, continues to build upon the successes of its PNG LNG partnership and is eager to scale up the Exxon model PNG-wide through new partnerships with donors as well as new industry partners.
"The timely availability of highly accurate data is key to the development of effective health policy. The institute and our stakeholders encourage the government, donors and industry to build upon the foundation set by the success of our partnership with Exxon and the PNG LNG project," he said.