Johanniter International Assistance supports St John PNG

Johanniter International

A few days ago, the World Health Organisation issued an international appeal for medical assistance to Papua New Guinea. The country currently sees a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 cases and widespread, uncontrolled transmission of COVID-19. St John Ambulance Papua New Guinea – which has been providing community healthcare and emergency services in the country for many years – is setting up a field hospital with 296 beds on behalf of the government. The hospital‘s main purpose is to isolate and care for patients suffering from COVID-19. The Australian government is providing St John with the financial resources.

Today, seven members of the Johanniter International Assistance arrived in Port Moresby to support St John PNG at the new Nightingale COVID Centre. The team consists of a physician, four paramedics and two nurses over the coming four weeks. The volunteers come from Germany and Austria. Johanniter is St John’s sister organisation in Europe.

“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

Papua New Guinea has experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases across the country since February 2021. “The new cases are associated with more severe illness than the previously seen in 2020. We are facing the potential collapse of health services in Port Moresby and around the country. A large number of hospital workers – over 120 staff – at Port Moresby General and National Capital District Health Authority (NCDPHA) are now positive for COVID-19”, reports Matthew Cannon, Chief Executive Officer of St. John Ambulance Papua New Guinea. For this reason, St John asked Johanniter for a medical support team.