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  • Jelilah Kun

CCHS conducts successful SRHIP Review Workshop

Port Moresby: The National Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) of Papua New Guinea (PNG) successfully conducted a three-day review workshop aimed at enhancing the Sexual Health Integration Project (SRHIP) across the country. Diocesan Health Services Integration Officers (DHSIO) and officers in charge (OICs) from nine of 11 participating provinces attended the workshop from February 13th to 15th, 2024, at the Catholic Bishops Conference Headquarters in Port Moresby.

The workshop focused on reflection, learning, and collaborative planning to ensure the successful implementation of SRHIP. Despite the absence of two provinces – Madang, and Autonomous Region of Bougainville – the event saw active participation from delegates representing East Sepik, West Sepik, Morobe, Southern Highlands, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Western, Central provinces, and the National Capital District.

The objectives of the workshop were multifaceted, aiming to increase understanding of key expectations for sub-grant arrangements, improve competency and confidence in implementing the DHSIO Annual Implementation Plan for 2024, emphasize provincial-level partnerships, and strengthen reporting mechanisms at the diocese and facility levels.

William Vagi, DHSIO for CCHS of the Diocese of Bereina, Central Province, highlighted the unique approach taken by facilitators, which included color-coded performance evaluations. Vagi remarked, "The direct feedback was invaluable, providing clarity on our standing and insight into areas that need improvement."

Vagi further shared insights into the impactful discussions during the workshop, stating, "Engaging with colleagues from other provinces and hearing their experiences was enlightening, gave me numerous ideas, and increased my enthusiasm to return and work on my AIP." He highlighted the importance of one of his activities implemented last year the 'Peer to Peer' program, which aimed at providing comprehensive sexual health education to young people in the Veifa communities. He also expressed his gratitude for the continued support received from facilitators and Australian Aid for funding the project, highlighting the project's impact on ensuring continued access to essential supplies for individuals on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

Although Mr. Graham Apian, the CCHS Projects Director, was not able to attend the workshop, he conveyed his appreciation for the achievements of 2023 and urged participants to strive for further success in 2024. Apian emphasized the importance of cooperation and announced plans for closer collaboration, including monthly virtual meetings, and gave each province a mobile phone to assist in facilitating communication.

At the workshop's closure, the National Health Secretary, Sr Jadwiga Faliszek presented small tokens of appreciation to three high performing CCHS offices from Western, Southern Highlands, and Morobe provinces for their efforts supervising the activities on the ground.

“Going forward, I urge you all to use the phones you were given to document the impacts of the work you are doing and send them to us so we can make good reports,” Sr Jadwiga said.

The success of this workshop marked a significant step forward in the ongoing efforts of CCHS to promote sexual health integration and improve healthcare delivery across PNG.

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