ANGAU Hospital’s new Family Support Centre was officially opened on 8 May 2018 by the Health Secretary Pascoe Kase, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and His Excellency Mr Bruce Davis, Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea. The new centre is funded by the Australian Government as part of the ANGAU Hospital Redevelopment.
Built by local building contractor, Lae Builders & Construction, the new and improved Family Support Centre will greatly improve the ability of the 10 dedicated staff to provide medical care and counselling for survivors of family violence in Morobe.
In planning for the ANGAU redevelopment, the ANGAU Board and the Australian High Commission mutually agreed that a new Family Support Centre would be a priority in the works leading up to the main hospital construction. Over 1,000 survivors of family and sexual violence seek medical and psychosocial treatment at the centre every year, many of whom are children. Women and girls are the primary targets of family and sexual violence.
According to Sister Anastacia Wakon, the ANGAU FSC Nurse Manager, the poor condition of the old building was impeding the ability of the FSC staff to respond to the increasing number of survivors presenting for treatment.
The existing building was made up of five pre-fabricated containers. It was too small for the number of clients treated by the staff; the roof leaked and the centre flooded when it rained.
“Having a new facility is a significant step toward addressing the issues of Family and Sexual Violence in Morobe, in Momase Region and in Papua New Guinea,” Sister Wakon said.
“I’m very grateful to the Australian and PNG Governments and I am encouraged because I feel that my team and I are now empowered to give our best and to reach out to the survivors and the community.”
ANGAU Hospital first established a Women and Children’s Support Centre in 2003 as a joint initiative with Soroptomist International of Lae. This became the Family Support Centre in 2007, with the support of international NGO Medicins San Frontiers (MSF) to implement a model of care that recognises that survivors of family and sexual violence require access to free, quality and confidential medical and psychological treatment, as well as social support, protection and access to justice. The model also promotes the prevention of violence through advocacy and community education. MSF handed over management of the FSC in Lae to ANGAU Hospital in June 2013.
The new ANGAU FSC provides a private and safe space for patients before, during and after admission. The building design maximises the use of natural lighting and ventilation.
The FSC is located at the back of the hospital campus to allow for discrete access for survivors seeking assistance and protection from perpetrators. Security features include secure fencing, an air-locked pre-admission screening area, a secured waiting area, screened patient deck, and separate access point for direct vehicle entry or exit.
The ANGAU redevelopment continues at pace with the next stage of construction to deliver a new birthing ward, TB ward, haus lotu and back of house functions, including the hospital kitchen, laundry and central energy services.
For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100
Staff of the Family Support Centre with delegates following the opening of the new facility.
Opening of the new Family Support Centre, (L-R) Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis, Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu (centre) and Health Secretary Pascoe Kase.