Mendi Graduates 66 Catholic Health Workers
Mendi, SHP: The Catholic Diocese of Mendi came to rejoice as it graduated 66 students from the Mother of Divine Shepherd Community Health Workers (CHW) Training School.
Held on Sunday 21st March 2021, the celebration was a combination of the 43rd and 44th graduation anniversary. Bishop of Mendi, Donald Lippert OFM Cap, was the ceremony’s main celebrant. Also present to witness the joyful and colourful ceremony were invited guests, priests, religious brothers and sisters, parents, guardians and laity. The first lot did not graduate last year, due to the COVID-19 outbreak pandemic.
It began with a eucharistic mass, however, due to COVID-19 safety protocols the graduation was held in the open air outside of the main Cathedral grandstand.
Bp Lippert in his homily said community health workers were the frontline public health workers who were vital in our society as they understood the community they served with passion.
He urged those graduating that with the skills and knowledge attained, they should now seek to help people and become the light that gives hope to those in darkness. "The Training institution had its mission to prepare qualified health care professional to serve patients in the health facilities in the rural areas with love and compassion,” he said.
He added, “When Jesus came to the world, he did not only preach the gospel, but also showed compassion for those who were sick and suffering. As health worker, we have to follow his example and care for those that come to our doors at any health facility.”
Principal Sr Cathy Lepi Pilang said as a church run institution, it continued to face many struggles and hardships and it wanted to work more closely with the Government to improve its approaches in development.
She said the trained professionals would be providing healthcare services to people in remote villages of the country and it was important that the Church and Government work in partnership.
Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority Public Health Director George Epei acknowledged the institution for its continuous support to public health in providing trained community health workers that would play an important role in saving lives in the rural areas.
He said people in the rural areas needed the services of community and frontline health workers, who would later form part of the community in the long run to serve the people.