As COVID-19 is crippling Papua New Guinea’s fragile healthcare system, the only way to improve the situation was through increased vaccinations. Working closely with the Papua New Guinean and Australian Governments, International SOS has stepped up to this challenge and implemented a vaccine delivery service.
Many Papua New Guineans are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
To promote vaccine uptake, we created a community engagement media program, promoting vaccine safety and science.
We have mobilised vaccination hubs in city centres and arranged for service delivery in rural provinces, some of the most isolated locations in the world. Reflecting our commitment to localisation, most of our team members are nationals (80%) and women (65%).
The International SOS partnership was officially recognised by the PNG Minister of Health, who commended our ability to work with key stakeholders, including Government partners, civil society organisations and community leaders.
International SOS worked with country partners to deliver the planning and coordination, vaccination delivery strategies to establish and manage mass vaccination sites. This included hard to reach populations, human resource management and training, combating vaccine hesitancy, acceptance and uptake. In addition International SOS conducted vaccine safety monitoring and management of AEFI; resulting in the vaccination of over 30,000 people since March 2021.