Facemasks presented by PNG Biomass Community Liaison Officer Michelle Steven (left) to Senior Community Health Workers of the Wampar Health Centre Mr, Joseph Titus (center) witnessed by a fellow health worker.
Morobe Province has seen over 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last few days, an indication that community transmission is increasing.
Over the course of 2020, PNG Biomass has pro-actively reached out to communities to provide relevant information and support about the COVID-19 pandemic. Over a thousand notices and COVID-19 awareness materials were distributed to communities with the help of community liaison officers. To be prepared for sharp local increases in community transmission, PNG Biomass ordered 9,000 re-useable facemasks last year. By early 2021, some 5,500 facemasks were received and prepared for distribution.
With the current surge in local cases, a first batch of 2,500 facemasks has been distributed to local health centres and aid posts serving the communities in the footprint of PNG Biomass’ operation. The Wampar Health Centre received 2,000 masks, with Tararan and Chivasing Aid Posts respectively getting 500 each.
At the time of the donation, both aid posts were closed. Most locals are attended to by the volunteer health workers within those two areas, who took receipt of the facemasks and will look after community distribution. The next planned distribution will be in the Umi/Atzera LLG where some 1,500 facemasks will go to each Mutzing Rural Hospital and Tsuia Sub Health Centre in respectively Mutzing and Kaiapit.
PNG Biomass advises community to stay at home and minimise movements to only essential trips. Practice social distancing and utilise facemasks during essential face-to-face engagements to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.