january 13, 2020

NBPO Foundation donates ambulance to St John Ambulance in Simbu Province

nbpol foundation
On 12 November 2021, The New Britain Palm Oil Foundation (NBPOF) donated an ambulance to St John Ambulance’s newly established Simbu Branch in Kundiawa. The donation was added to a fleet of two to beef up pre-hospital operations in the province, in partnership with the Simbu Provincial Health Authority (SiPHA).  

NBPOF Chairman Robert Nilkare presented the brand new and fully-kitted ambulance costing around K200,000 to St John Ambulance-Simbu and SiPHA, witnessed by SiPHA board members, management and staff of Kundiawa General Hospital, health workers and the community. Nilkare said the foundation was pleased to make the donation to support the critical service that St John Ambulance provides during emergencies, especially pre-hospital services, to the people of Simbu.  

Nilkare, who is also the SiPHA Chairman and NBPOL Country Manager, said Simbu is geographically a challenging province with poor access to health care and social services. The ambulance service will assist the people not only to transport the patients but also for onsite care by St John Ambulance’s mobile doctors and nurses before reaching the hospital, which is critical especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. Simbu is the first province in the highlands of PNG to have St John Ambulance, that has been in operation since August 2021, attending to well over 300 patients. The organisation has been using a single ambulance donated by Digicel Foundation.  

The establishment of the service has been a foresight of Nilkare and the SiPHA Board with the support of Kundiawa Hospital and was well received by the community as it eases the challenge of logistics to seek medical care in good time. Nilkare also presented 1,400 Covid-19 rapid test kits that were also donated by the NBPOL Foundation. They were in addition to another 2,500 kits that were donated earlier by the foundation during the second country-wide surge of Covid-19 in April 2021. The foundation will also provide six oxygen concentrators for all of Simbu’s six districts once procured. 

Nilkare added that Kundiawa Hospital is one of the main referral hospitals in the Highlands region with its emergency and surgery departments being the best in the country and the St John Ambulance service will complement the services. He also thanked the Board, hospital management and staff including specialists for their undivided and continuous commitment and dedication in providing professional health care to the people of Simbu and the Highlands region. SiPHA’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Francis Wandi and board member Pastor Thomas Wii thanked NBPOL through the foundation for the kind gesture, adding that the donated ambulance will serve the 400,000 people of Simbu province.  

Dr Wandi said St John Ambulance’s services so far have been overwhelming and commendable as the response level has been effective and timely to attend in attending cases. He said SiPHA and the hospital have really appreciated the service during the third surge of theCovid-19 pandemic managed by the province. The people of Simbu may have not realised but the ambulance service has responded quickly in picking up suspected cases for treatment and isolation before community transmission could take place, he said, adding that this prompt action has played a huge part in keeping the covid numbers low in the province.   

Nilkare also took the opportunity to thank Digicel Foundation for donating the first ambulance, a10-sitter land cruiser, and also Sir Brain Bell Foundation for recently donating two industrial laundry machines and a dryer to the community. Nilkare further called on business houses in Kundiawa to support health workers at the hospital and various clinics in whatever way possible such as food donations during this pandemic as they are working beyond the limits to serve the community.