Expanding services and supporting students

Exciting investments into the new prosthetics and orthotics service in Kundiawa, Papua New Guinea, ensures the service will best meet the needs of its community for a long time to come.

A group of five people stand outside. Four are wearing the same uniform, and one man is wearing a brightly coloured shirt. This man has a suitcase and backpack with him.

In 2020 the National Orthotics and Prosthetics Service (NOPS) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) conducted their first ever outreach trip to Kundiawa, a small town in the remote PNG highlands. Less than two years later, they have their own established prosthetics and orthotics clinic at Kundiawa Hospital.

Thanks to the continued efforts of Kundiawa Hospital leadership and NOPS staff, the community of Kundiawa and surrounding towns have greater access to life saving and life changing assistive technology and the prosthetic and orthotic services.

Today the NOPS clinic at the hospital is staffed by clinician Alfred and technician Henry, who celebrated their first prosthetic fabrication at the Kundiawa clinic 12 months ago.

Two men in uniforms stand in a workshop and hold up a new transtibial prosthetic leg with shoe attached. They smile proudly.

Excitingly, the Kundiawa NOPS team will soon welcome a third team member. Sieland, formerly a physiotherapist in Kundiawa, has been studying a Certificate of Prosthetics and Orthotics online at the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics for the past 9 months. Despite some initial troubles organising reliable internet access, Sieland speaks very highly of his experience learning online.

“The experience was really great – and it was something new out of the moon! I had first degree in physiotherapy and it was a totally different thing. Every single day is a new day for me when doing online. I am always happy to share my experience with Physiotherapy colleagues.”

This week he has travelled to Cambodia to complete the practical component of his training in person. He looks forward to returning to Kundiawa to support the NOPS team with his new knowledge and skills towards the end of the year.

Motivation Australia have been assisting Sieland with telecommunication costs for his studies through our Pacific Wayfinders project. This project provides professional and leadership development opportunities for health workers in the Pacific. We would like to wish Sieland all the very best with the rest of his studies and look forward to his graduation and return!

The growth of prosthetics and orthotics services in Kundiawa is a testament to the long-term impact outreach trips can have and would not be possible without the support of the management at the Kundiawa Hospital, Simbu Provincial Health Authority, NOPS and Wendy and Daryl Teague.

Motivation Australia would also like to acknowledge the valuable contributions of the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) to this achievement.

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