Collaboration for Health in Papua New Guinea (CHPNG)

Partnership objectives

  1. Establish and strengthen the role of HIV day care centers as safe places for the education and management of HIV infection
  2. Strengthen the PNG capacity to manage and care for HIV infected individuals by training teams of healthcare workers by region or centre
  3. Provide ongoing support of trained healthcare teams through regular mentoring visits from other trained healthcare workers

Misinformation and poor understanding about HIV has contributed to discriminatory attitudes toward people living with the virus, creating a hurdle to access health services. Misinformation and poor understanding about HIV has contributed to discriminatory attitudes toward people living with the virus, creating a hurdle to access health services. Copyright CHPNG

What are the health needs and challenges?

The quality and availability of HIV diagnosis, care and treatment in PNG continues to be limited by severe resource shortages in the health system including lack of trained professionals and medical supplies to deliver basic health services. Misinformation and poor understanding about HIV has contributed to discriminatory attitudes toward people living with the virus, creating a hurdle to access health services. The shortage of skilled health workers mirrors the greater human resource challenge impacting on all service sectors in PNG.

An estimated 25,000 people were estimated to be living with HIV in 2012 in PNG with HIV prevalence being highest in the Highlands and Southern regions at 0.63% and 0.57% respectively. These figures reflect a downward revision of estimates from previous years, due in part to an improvement in the national surveillance systems but may also be suggestive of successful education, treatment and prevention programs.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

The partnership established the Collaboration for Health in Papua New Guinea (CHPNG), which works with relevant departments of the Government of PNG, the National Catholic AIDS Office in PNG the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) from Australia and the National Association for People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) from Australia in projects to build the local capacity of the people of PNG to fight the HIV epidemic. CHPNG activities include the provision of day care centers to provide a safe space for people living with HIV/AIDS and where their caregivers can meet and share experiences. It also undertakes the training of multidisciplinary teams of nearly 400 healthcare workers to manage HIV and provides an ongoing education and mentoring program to maintain and improve the skills of those providing care. The mentor program has allowed the PNG healthcare workers to meet with their Australian counterparts to sharpen their skills, bolster their confidence and provide a network with which to discuss treatment options.

Lessons learned                            

The CHPNG has learned that by supporting those already committed – no matter how modest, an effective national program can be built through a local response.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

The CHPNG has been operating with partners in Australia and PNG since 2003 and has moved from training in workshops by geographical teams to supporting lessons learned through mentors from Australia who visit centers and assist in clinics. In the future, it is hoped that the mentors will be taken from a pool of PNG healthcare professionals who are able to visit and support their neighbors. Clinical mentoring will continue to be the primary focus of the program, but will be adapted to include STIs, in order to meet the growing need to address STIs across all sites.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Boehringer Ingelheim , Bristol-Myers Squibb , GlaxoSmithKline , Johnson & Johnson , MSD , Pfizer

Partner(s) Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID), National Association for People living with HIV/AIDS in Australia, National Catholic AIDS Office, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Ministry of Health, ViiV Healthcare

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs, Other Business

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) HIV/AIDS

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Papua New Guinea

Start Date 2003

More information CHPNG Website

Anticipated completion date Ongoing