Aims of the

Highlands Foundation

  • Raising funds to improve facilities and strengthen existing health care facilities at regional hospitals and rural Aid Posts.
  • Acquiring medical supplies and transporting them to PNG.
  • Educating highland communities about improving health outcomes.
  • Facilitating volunteer teams of doctors, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals to travel to PNG to work with and up-skill the local health care workers.
  • Provide education opportunities for PNG healthcare workers.

Our Projects

1- Mum and baby pack project
The mum and baby pack project has been instrumental in reducing infant pneumonia and other illnesses by improving hygiene and providing warmth. Infection following birth is the major cause of maternal mortality. Providing basic supplies such as towels, soap, underwear and pads improve hygiene and help reduce the chance of infection.

In PNG, many women birth alone with no medical assistance. The packs also have a health brochure we have specifically designed in the pidgin language to express and educate on major health issue in png. These packs are an incentive for women to attend hospital for both antenatal clinics, education, and for the birth of their baby.

2- Medical supplies
Each year, our aim is to ship a container filled with medical supplies and hospital equipment to PNG. All medical supplies have been donated by hospitals, health clinics, and individuals.

We only ship goods that we know are necessary, require minimal maintenance and are inexpensive to run. We are guided by wish lists provided by PNG health staff. Please check our wish list or contact us if you would like to donate.

3- Health Worker Kits
Anyone who has been to a major hospital or health centre in PNG will report of the obvious lack of supplies to deliver health care. Nurses, Midwives and health care workers in Papua New Guinea have the difficult task of providing lifesaving services with bare minimum resources. The health Kits we are making give health care workers essential tools to be able to care for women and their families during pregnancy and birth. The items in the Kit include: Blood pressure machines, stethoscope, thermometer, gestation wheel, tape measure, Pinnard (to monitor fetal heart rate), neonatal resuscitation bag and mask, adult resuscitation bag and mask, soap, hand towel, water bottle, pen, notebook, antibacterial hand rub, suturing instruments, surgical gown, and treatment guideline booklets.

We would be grateful for the donation of any of these items to complete our packs and send them to hard working health care workers in remote areas of PNG.

3- Education
We are continuously running education programs for staff at Major hospitals and health centeres. Some of our education projects include:

  • Setting up a medical library, accessible to all staff and students.
  • Midwifery education programs including neonatal resuscitation and management of obstetric emergencies.
  • Basic life support education in all wards.
  • Providing professional development opportunities for nursing and midwifery staff by facilitating attendance at national conferences.

Other projects:

Introducing and implementing standards of universal infection control. Introduction of the 5 moments of hand hygiene including hand sanitising in all wards, providing education to staff, and assisting staff to maintain quality standards.

Improving staff awareness of personal safety such as the safe disposal of sharps and encouraging the use of personal protective equipment.Encouraging and supporting the development of a professional body for midwifes: The PNG Midwifery Society.

Goroka (Eastern Highlands)

The Goroka Base Hospital was built in 1969 but is deteriorating due to the lack of maintenance and funds. It is a primary care facility of 265 beds and services a population of approximately 450,000 people. There is no switchboard, limited pathology testing, and very limited supply of linen to mention just a few issues. The hospital often does not have electricity and/or water.

Medical supplies and equipment at Goroka hospital are supplied by both the Highlands Foundation and the PNG health department. Only basic medications are available and are often in short supply. It is a constant frustration for staff at the hospital, that they are unable to deliver the best quality care due to inadequate supply of essential medications and equipment that are affordable and accessible in a country such as Australia.

The staff are overworked and rely on family members to help with basic care of patients such as washing and feeding. During the day, the nursing to patient ratio is 1:30 and during the night 1:60.

Mt Hagen (Western Highlands)

Mt Hagen is the major town of the Western Highlands Province. “The Mt Hagen General Hospital is a public base referral hospital for the Highlands provinces of Southern Highlands, Chimbu, Enga, Eastern Highlands and Western Highlands Provinces. The Hospital is mandated to serve as a provincial hospital to the Western Highlands province with a total population of about 1/2 million people, and serve as the base referral hospital to the other 4 Highland provinces” (Mt Hagen General Hospital Annual Report 2004).