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Papua New Guinea
MSF in Papua New Guinea, 2008
Field Staff: 32
Reason for Intervention:
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In Papua New Guinea, around 40 percent of the population lives under the national poverty line, according to the World Health Organization. Violence at all levels of society presents a significant health burden and the causes are complex. According to a 2008 report by AusAID, Australia’s aid program, two out of three women experience domestic violence and half of the country’s women have experienced rape in connection with tribal fighting.
In 2008, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supported a clinic in the eastern coastal city of Lae, the country’s second-largest metropolitan area. At the Women and Children’s Support Center, MSF staff offered medical and psychosocial care to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. By December 2008, one year after the clinic opened its doors, the team had treated more than 2,500 patients.
In September 2008, MSF started providing surgical care for patients in the local hospital in the city of Tari, on the western part of the island, which had been abandoned for the last 10 years owing to insecurity. MSF is responsible for emergency care, including surgery for survivors of violence and obstetric care in the hospital. In just three months, by the end of December 2008, MSF had given more than 1,000 consultations.
MSF has worked in Papua New Guinea since 2007.