The AHP partnership is supported by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) that is providing the pilots to operate an aircraft also funded by SDP, as well as Rural Airstrips Agency (RAA), which is implementing another SDP-funded initiative to bring all 70 airstrips in Western Province back into operation.
AHP is focused on primary health care and the delivery of drugs and other medical supplies to remote communities. Each patrol will stay with a community three days to deliver immunizations; family planning; maternal and child health care; and conduct outpatient clinics.
The AHP services prioritize preventative measures including Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs. Sago Network’s Ms Jade Worsley said: “we are committed to increasing long-term health outcomes by providing a WASH program that empowers people to improve sanitation and hygiene in their community. We aim to work where needs are greatest, however accessing remote places is often challenging.”
Mrs Alice Honjepari from Daru Provincial Health advised AHP that one of the most pressing areas where it can help is supporting immunization programs. In keeping with this priority, Sister Gulu Ilabi, from Balimo District Health accompanied AHP’s first patrol to administer the NDoH polio-measles campaign.
There was great excitement when the patrol took off from Balimo airstrip last Wednesday with a large group of well-wishers including Mr Jerry Tamop, the District Administrator and Mr Kawe Biyama, the local Mayor coming out to farewell the team. Mr Roy Biyama, the Member for Middle Fly, expressed his gratitude and support, saying how good it was to see SDP making things happen.