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ABG Health receives vehicles for COVID-19 support

The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) has received four vehicles from Australia and New Zealand as part of an assistance package to support COVID-19 preparations in the region.

The vehicles were handed over at a small ceremony today and included three Toyota Land cruisers and one Toyota Hilux, which will be used by the ABG Department of Health.

While there are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bougainville, the vehicles will assist ABG preparations for a potential outbreak of the virus.

ABG Health Secretary Clement Totavun whilst receiving the vehicles said the vehicles will be invaluable in supporting the ABG's to implement its COVID-19 emergency responses and preparedness plan.

"These vehicles will help us strengthen our systems and deliver essential stock and medicines to health centres throughout Bougainville," he said.

"They will support the provision of in-service training to health staff and in some cases, transport the sick to our facilities to receive treatment."

The handover follows the announcement by the Australian and New Zealand governments support of K450,000.00 upgrade of the Suhin Heath Centre facility on Buka island, which is designated as an isolation ward to treat patients and help prevent the spread of the virus, and also to support awareness activities in local Bougainville communities about the COVID-19. 

The initiatives are a key part of Australian Government's  support to the comprehensive COVID-19 response efforts by the PNG Government and the ABG. 

This has seen K67 million redirected to provide a wide-ranging package of support - building on current activities and providing direct assistance to prepare and respond to an outbreak.

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