Words and pictures by HENZY YAKHAM
Over 60,000 people of Henganofi electorate in the Eastern Highlands province are to benefit from a new rural hospital to be built at a cost of K5 million - thanks to the local MP Ferao Orimyo who secured the money for this important health project.
The money for the Henganofi Rural Hospital was approved in early September 2008 by the National Planning Office following a submission by Mr Orimyo immediately after his election in the 2007 general election.
This funding approval was based on a K5 million sought by the current MP and not based on previous requests, submission and proposals.
Mr Orimyo thanked National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten, Finance Minister and former Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, officials of both departments and Eastern Highlands-based consulting firm, Crescent Pacific Engineering for all their work in securing of the money.
Last Friday (June 11, 2010), Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu delivered a cheque of K3.2 million in Henganofi - the remainder of the money for the rural hospital.
Crescent Pacific Engineering earlier received K1.8 million in mobilisation cost.
Mr Orimyo said soon after his election in the 2007 general election he had worked hard to put together two proposals, one for a rural hospital and another for a major road rehabilitation project in my electorate which links Henganofi with neighboring Lufa and Okapa districts.
“I’m very thankful for everyone who has contributed one way or another to realising one of my impact projects. It will not only serve people of Henganofi electorate, but also others including travelers along the Highlands (Okuk) Highway,” he stressed.
Mr Orimyo said for the first time Henganofi electorate would benefit from a substantial National Government funding for the rural hospital complementing three other health centres in the electorate.
The three existing health centres are: Four Square’s Fore health centre in Fayantina, government-run Kesawake in Duantina and Swiss Mission-managed Kompri health centre.
When in operation, the new hospital services will cut down on travel time for thousands of people who travel each year seeking medical services in Goroka and Kainantu within Eastern Highlands province and even to Lae in Morobe province.
Among others, the new Henganofi rural hospital will provide infant and maternal services, a Volunteer Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS, an operating theatre as well as outpatient and inpatient ward with a 50-patient capacity ward.
“While we greatly appreciate the funding for the hospital, the road infrastructure is also an important project which will boost current economic activities and generate interest for new agriculture, transport and trading businesses among the people of Henganofi, Lufa and Okapa districts,” Mr Orimyo said.