PanAust and Interplast Ink Three Year Partnership Deal to Support Frieda River Communities
29 February 2024 Community | PanAust | Social Responsibility | Sustainability

PanAust and Interplast Ink Three Year Partnership Deal to Support Frieda River Communities

Improving access to healthcare is at the heart of a three-year partnership agreement signed recently by Interplast and PanAust.

Interplast sends teams of volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to provide life-changing surgery and medical training in 17 countries across the Asia Pacific region.

The partnership launched on Tuesday afternoon at PanAust’s Brisbane office, commits PanAust to pay $120, 000 per year for three years to deliver a range of far-reaching health benefits to the East and West Sepik Provinces of Papua New Guinea.

The partnership will formally commence with a series of health assessments in Sepik communities near the Frieda River Project site, followed by scheduled surgeries at the Wewak’s General Hospital where a highly skilled surgical team will undertake reconstructive surgical procedures. It is expected that up to 60 people, including Frieda River community members, will receive much-needed surgical care during each visit.

Additionally, the collaboration aims to enhance the capability of local surgical teams through capacity building, ensuring rapid and effective medical response in the event of accidents or other emergencies.

Daling Zheng, Managing Director and CEO of PanAust said the agreement is a significant commitment towards improving healthcare accessibility and outcomes for those living in remote and often inaccessible communities.

“In Papua New Guinea our focus is on improved health and education services and capacity-building with an emphasis on the maintenance and establishment of infrastructure to support these services.

“We are here for the long haul and acknowledge our responsibility to support current and future generations. We believe that access to health is a fundamental right, and we are proud to play a role in ensuring that right is upheld in remote communities near the Frieda River Project.

“Through this MoU with Interplast, we are deepening our impact and know that we are bettering the lives of so many by delivering life-changing surgeries and education,” Mr Zheng said.

PanAust and Interplast have had an enduring relationship with the two first collaborating in 2012 to deliver reconstructive surgery to people in Xieng Khouang Province in Laos.

Since 2012, more than 250 people in the Asia Pacific have received life-changing clinical care, more than 50 clinicians have received clinical training opportunities, and hospital and health systems in two countries have benefited from PanAust and Interplast’s support.

Interplast’s Director of International Programs, Jess Hill, said that: “Interplast is pleased to be continuing our partnership with PanAust which will enable us to deliver much-needed specialist clinical services to the populations of East and West Sepik Provinces, as well as training and mentoring for local medical and nursing personnel. Both children and adults will have access to life-changing surgery, and our local counterparts will build their clinical skills, which will in turn enable them to provide better treatment to their community.’’