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Partnership in Health (PIH)


The Partnership in Health (PiH) project is monitoring the impact of the PNG Liquid Natural Gas (PNG LNG) project on the health of population in project impact and control communities. The project commenced in July 2010, with funding from Esso Highlands Ltd. and of PNG LNG PGK 9,000,000.

The Exxon-Mobil - led PNG Liquid Natural Gas (PNG LNG) project is the largest resource project in the history of Papua New Guinea. Once fully operational, it will contribute substantially to the PNG gross national product, employ several thousand staff and provide royalties to landowners and taxes to the government. The project will thus contribute very significantly to the development of PNG. As with any other major resource project, PNG LNG will have a significant impact on the lifestyle and health of people in the project impact areas.

This project seeks to monitor the impact of the project on affected populations by comparing longitudinal demographic and health trends in project affected and control communities using health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS). Demographic surveillance will include birth and mortality trends, migration events (in, out and internal migration) as well as socio economic and educational factors while monitoring of health trends will focus on burden of key infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCD). For operational purposes, the HDSS platform including demographic/mortality studies as well as NCD components are implemented by the PHD Unit while the components related to sexual and reproductive health, and bacterial and viral diseases (such as vector borne, diarrhoeal, respiratory diseases) are implemented by other IMR units.

An HDSS includes both continued, basic demographic monitoring ( births, deaths, and migrations) and evaluation of health trends. It aims to assess the overall risks/benefits to individual households on the platform of close surveillance demographic dynamics. To monitor the short, medium and long-term impact, location for monitoring are the LNG project affected population in Hiri district near Port Moresby, and Hides in Hela Province. To monitor health trends in the general PNG population (and provide a comparison to the situation in the project affected areas) the IMR has also reestablish two control sites in the Asaro Valley (Eastern Highlands) and Karkar Island (Madang).

This study will help to determine if and how the PNG LNG project impacts on the health and lifestyle of PNG populations by comparing demographic and health trends in project impact and control communities. The HDSS will provide information on the overall risks/benefits to individual households on the sound platform of close surveillance of demographic dynamics. The project will further provide an evidence base for the design, implementation and monitoring of curative and preventative interventions targeting pneumonia, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. In addition, it will serve as a platform for training local biomedical scientists.

The principal investigators are: Peter Siba (PI), Joe Burton (PI), Suparat Phuanukoonnon, Hebe Gouda, Ian Riley, Justin Pulford, Andrew Greenhill, Paul Horwood, Paul Harino, Harry Poka, Patricia Rarau, Seri Maraga, Gwendalyn Vengiua, Elias Namosha, Mexy Kakazo, Inoni Betuela, Angela Kelly, Claire Ryan, Andrew Vallely.

Collaborating centres are: IMR; University of PNG, Port Moresby; Telethon Institute of Child Health Research, Perth, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, and University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Population Health and Demography



Dr Justin Pulford
Unit Head

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