31 Mar 2004

Save the Children merges huge health project with other services in Papua New Guinea's East Sepik

3:16 pm on 31 March 2004

The New Zealand branch of the NGO, Save the Children, says it is integrating its East Sepik Women and Children's Health Project in Papua New Guinea with other services in the province so it is freed up for other activities.

For seven years Save the Children has been training local volunteers to provide basic health services and advice, but from today the project is being merged with the Church Health Service and the Provincial Government's Division of Health.

John Bowis of Save the Children says the latest move is part of the NGO's exit strategy.

"where we can hand over the service to an appropriate organisation or facility here in country - that's so the service becomes sustainable because clearly Save the Children has many demands on its services and we want to move into other areas"

John Bowis says the integration will take up to five years and aid assistance from New Zealand's aid agency, NZAID, will be used to bring the church and Government clinics up to higher standard.