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Scholarship supports community health care

Port Moresby General Hospital Medical Social Worker, Margaret Maipa Yagas, is the first recipient of the Baylor College of Medicine International Paediatric Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Initiative scholarship funded by ExxonMobil PNG (EMPNG).

The scholarship is enabling Margaret to study a Masters in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, USA.

Margaret was selected for the scholarship because of her work as a social worker where she observed first-hand what is needed to improve the efficiency and availability of health and social work services in PNG.

Margaret said the opportunity to further her education and develop strategies to improve social work health challenges was invaluable.

Following her return to PNG, Margaret hopes to implement the skills and knowledge she learnt during her studies to make a positive impact to health care across PNG.

The scholarship is part of a long-standing Public Private Partnership between EMPNG, the Texas Children’s Hospital and its partner the Baylor College of Medicine, the National Department of Health and the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

As part of this partnership, experienced doctors from the Texas Children’s Hospital and its partner, Baylor College of Medicine, have been based in Port Moresby General Hospital since 2013 to provide mentoring and training to medical students.

The doctors have also expanded rural hospital visits to post graduates during their elective and provided training to Tari Hospital in Hela Province.

In addition, hundreds of students from the University of Papua New Guinea have benefited from knowledge sharing through lectures by the doctors and hundreds more patients have been successfully treated for a range of illnesses previously beyond the capabilities of Port Moresby General Hospital medical teams.

EMPNG has deepended its commitment to improving the health sector through fostering and strengthening the public private partnership with the Papua New Guinea Government and the Texas Children's Hospital. This commitment to health and education in Papua New Guinea will continue into the future.