Covid continues to surge in Papua New Guinea.
Our national St John organisation needs your help today.

Papua New Guinea has confirmed more than 33,000 Covid cases and 436 deaths (as of 18 November) with many more cases going unreported. Not even 2% Papua New Guineans, in a nation of nine million people, have been fully vaccinated against Covid, and vaccination hesitancy is high. Although many Papua New Guineans have access to the vaccine, the opposition against the jab is striking. Instead, people turn to prayer and traditional remedies. As a result, the virus continues to spread through an exposed population, and minimal access to healthcare increases the severity.

St John Papua New Guinea is leading on supporting the national Covid response. As a well-established and highly trusted brand in the country, St John is educating the population around the benefits of the vaccination – a task the public systems are lacking in, caused by mistrust in their actions and policies. In addition, our colleagues are working on the frontline around the clock, providing emergency medical services, ground and air ambulance services, visiting remote villages to help affected people, and managing and staffing a Nightingale hospital ward for Covid patients. Since the beginning of the pandemic, St John's crucial role in the national Covid response, in testing, the national vaccination programme and care for sick people has been constantly praised and recognised by the country's government, and St John is sitting on several emergency committees.

Whilst the number of people with Covid is dramatically increasing, our colleagues need your support. Please help us with your donation, and enable St John PNG to continue their life-saving work.

Please select a donation amount (required)
Set up a regular payment Donate

Working on the frontline

For St John volunteers and all frontline health workers the situation seems almost unbearable. They are working long hours in hot, humid conditions, wearing full category 2 PPE at Covid care facilities around the country. Even health workers, who are themselves patients in Covid isolation facilities, continue volunteering during their stay, and caring for the sick.

St John is running the Nightingale Covid Care Centre in the Capital Port Moresby, which was set up as an overflow facility to cater for hundreds of patients and ease pressure on the public hospital. The centre has 150 beds, but there is only sufficient staffing to provide care for 80 patients. Unfortunately, Port Moresby is seeing steep waves of Covid cases, along with other provinces. St John is receiving calls every hour from people needing hospital care. If the numbers continue to surge, St John will need to double its ambulance staffing, and potentially also double hospital staffing.

Please make a donation today and support St John PNG’s Covid response.

St John New South Wales Nurse Corey Slater continued to help patients at the St John PNG Covid hospital ward while he himself tested positive. You can hear a radio ABC interview with him here, and learn more about the work of the Australian Response team supporting capacity building in PNG.

Listen here to the radio interview.

Business as usual?!

Even in the midst of a pandemic, responding to every day emergencies is part of St John’s duties. St John PNG is working to bring more ambulances online as soon as possible, and train more people to work on ambulances to provide basic emergency care to the sick. Given the already stretched resources, this is a mammoth task for our colleagues on the pacific island. Nevertheless, St John ambulance officers respond to more than 1,000 emergencies across Papua New Guinea each month.

Please follow St John Papua New Guinea's facebook page to learn more about their work.