PNG Sub-Group: Sexual & Reproductive Health Integration Project COVID-19

 

Prepared by: The PNG Sub-Group of the ASHM Regional Advisory Group 

 

UPDATED ON: 17 June 2020

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The recommendations provided are the opinions of the authors and are not intended to provide a standard of care, or practice. This document does not reflect a systematic review of the evidence but will be revised to include relevant future systematic review findings. The recommendations are not intended to replace national guidance.  

 

The PNG Sub-Group of the ASHM Regional Advisory Group emerged in recognition of the specific needs of the BBV and sexual health workforce and health system in Papua New Guinea during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The Sub-Group comprises ASHM International, PNG Sexual Health Society and Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) that is working closely with National Department of Health, National AIDS Council Secretariat, WHO, UNAIDS and other key partners through the PNG HIV Technical Working Group.

The PNG Sub-Group has a focus on providing information and support to ASHM International’s large network of trained health workers under the Sexual & Reproductive Health Integration Project (SRHIP). The SRHIP COVID-19 support group was created, and the content of the messaging is relevant to the country’s context and epidemics (HIV, other BBVs and STIs) and consistent with the PNG national response for COVID-19.  The network of trained health workers under the SRHIP project received daily text messages, WhatsApp messages and emails that focus on the following topics: 

  1. Capacity building of the HIV, other BBV and sexual health sector and workforce in PNG to respond to COVID-19
  2. Strengthening awareness among the HIV, other BBV and sexual health workforce in PNG of universal precautions and infection control measures specific to COVID-19
  3. Promoting continuity in delivery of HIV, other BBV and sexual health services in PNG during COVID-19
  4. Addressing stigma and discrimination to increase universal access to sector services during COVID-19.

The SRHIP COVID-19 support group has been a platform for health workers to receive not only daily health messaging but telementoring upon request and a platform to voice clinical challenges and request assistance for cases at their clinic. 

ASHM International is committed to supporting our partner organisations and health workers in Papua New Guinea throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We will work together to ensure the continuation of HIV, other BBV and sexual health services during this challenging time, and to improve the capacity of health staff to respond to this emerging health and systems crisis.