During the heights of the Covid pandemic, the World Health Organisation issued an international appeal for medical assistance to Papua New Guinea. St John Ambulance Papua New Guinea – which has been providing community healthcare and emergency services in the country for many years – set up a field hospital with 296 beds on behalf of the government in order to isolate and care for patients suffering from Covid.
To support St John PNG at this new Nightingale Covid centre, Johanniter International Assistance deployed a team of seven to Papua New Guinea in April 2021. The team consisted of a physician, four paramedics and two nurses. The volunteers came from Germany and Austria.
We are very happy to be able to support the work of our sister organisation St John Ambulance in this difficult situation. This is also a special assignment for our dedicated helpers in a challenging time for everyone.— Magdalena Kilwing
Head of the Emergency Response Desk at Johanniter International Assistance
In addition to providing medical care at the hospital, the Johanniter team helped with medical evacuations from remote areas of the island, and with transferring patients with severe symptoms to the General Hospital. Together with St John, they also trained health workers in remote areas to protect themselves from the virus, and they coached health community workers in identifying Covid symptoms, basics in aerosol spreading and protection measures.