Reliable power for Yagaum Rural Hospital in the Madang District

Each year the Lutheran Women of Australia (LWA) contribute funds for the provision of solar power to health centres across Papua New Guinea (PNG). In Australia, we take for granted that our hospitals and health centres have reliable power to function and that the flick of a switch will light up the rooms; not so in PNG where blackouts are a common occurrence, disrupting the functioning of essential equipment and medical interventions.

When the Yaguam Rural hospital received funding through the LWA, they tasked their maintenance man, Mr Benjamin, with installing a solar power system. The funding was used to purchase solar panels, batteries, clips, connectors and switches, which Mr Benjamin and two support staff installed. When the first test of the new system was run, “the lights came on just perfectly, without any problem”! Now all the essential rooms for medical examinations, dispensing medication and injections and conducting minor theatre have lights. Staff in the outpatient department have been delighted and very thankful for the new solar panel system, particularly at night when (not if) there is a blackout.

The hospital administrator, Awateng Okan, and all the staff thank you LWA for your support for the vital work of the hospital. This installation is the first for the labour ward at Yagaum hospital. Thanks to your generosity and care, the health centre is able to provide medical treatment day and night. Perhaps the generation to come will have the luxury of being able to take for granted, the flick of a switch bringing light.

Zaka health centre also benefitted from LWA funding support, as they too were able to purchase and install solar equipment. The power source enabled them to install and operate a new vaccine refrigerator, as well as allowing the health care clinic to extend its operating hours.

Thank you, Lutheran Women of Australia, for your help in supporting the provision of important medical care in these communities where it is very much needed.

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