Archive for the ‘Community Home Based Care’ Category

HIV /AIDS AGAINST HER WILL   Leave a comment

The following is a true story of Becky [not her real name] a 15 year old young girl from the Upper Asaro LLG of Daulo District. Like any other young Papua New Guinean Becky had a bright future ahead of her. She had dreams of becoming someone of value to her community. Five years ago Becky decided to pay a visit to her relatives living in a settlement situated near the busy township of Goroka. Life in the settlement was different from that of her village where she had a care- free life. It was during this visit that her life became shattered down by an ordeal that could have been prevented if she had stayed put in her village.

Becky never had a boyfriend but her life took a different course one awful day when she was raped by a man from that settlement. She did not report the situation to her relatives as she felt ashamed and also at the same time thought that if she had told them her situation they could have blamed it all on her. Even though she lived a traumatized life for quite a while, Becky still held her head up high and pretended that nothing had ever happened to her but deep down in her heart she was crying out for help.yolanda

A couple of months later, Becky started losing weight. She did not know what was happening to her body and returned to her village. Her fragile body kept on deteriorating as she continued to become very sick but her family took no notice of her condition until she was unable to eat, drink and move freely. Even her relatives did not know what was happening to her so they called in the Community Home Based Care [CHBC] volunteers from their area to check her out. [CHBC is a program managed by ATprojects and funded by the Australian Government. This program focuses on providing basic health care in the remote rural areas of Goroka and Daulo Districts in Eastern Highlands Province but more importantly focuses on giving palliative care to People Living with HIV/AIDS].

Upon seeing the condition of Becky, the CHBC volunteers rushed her to Asaro Health Centre for a medical check where a Determine Test was done by the Health Extension Officer which proved that she had HIV and then a Confirmatory Test was done on her that confirmed that she was truly HIV positive. Soon afterwards she was commenced on ART and was sent home. Her family was shocked and got frustrated at the same time upon hearing the news but had to take her into their care since she had nowhere else to go.

Becky on the other hand felt like she was a living dead, tormented by anger and hate for the perpetrator who had knowingly given her the disease against her will. However despite all that was going on it was her heart beat that had constantly reminded her that she was still surviving in this dreadful world.

Unfortunately, due to her family’s negligence Becky did not take her medication on time and missed a couple of treatments which made her very sick again. The CHBC volunteers during one of their client visits noticed that the young girl had been neglected and was too sick to do anything so with the help of her older sister they took Becky to the Goroka Base Hospital where she was admitted to a medical ward by the nurses.

Becky remained in the hospital for a month taking her medication [ART] under the watchful eyes of the nurses. Soon after she regained her strength she was sent home with her ART supplies. Her only hope was her family. But upon her arrival in her village she was shown to an old abandoned house with many holes on the sides of the wall and rotting kunai grass on the roof top to live. The floor of the house had pools of mud. Unfortunately, the young girl did not complain and had to put up with the situation because she was too weak to argue. Her fate was in the hands of her older sister who had volunteered to take care of her.

In her bed made of three pieces of logs, pools of tears begun to run down on her face as she reminisced

the injustice that was done to her. Thousands of unanswered questions also began to cloud her mind as her tiny body quivered with cold at night. If this was her fate then life had nothing to hold her back, she thought. It was not her fault that she contracted the virus but how could she explain the past to her family. Her family members did not ask her how she got HIV/AIDS. As stereotype as the other people in her village were, they too thought that she got the virus from her lover and as a result have shun her away to an isolated house.

Becky had lost her hope to live from the very beginning. It was not the disease that was killing her that time; it was rejection and negligence. Patiently she awaited her death but again during one of their monthly visits, the CHBC volunteers came to her aid when she least expected them at that time. When they saw that she needed help they took charge to provide basic health care services and counseling to her and also at the same time called in her care givers and gave counseling to them. And it was during that day that she finally revealed the news to the CHBC volunteers that she was raped a couple of years ago which resulted in her getting the HIV/AIDS virus.

To this day with the support she is getting from the CHBC volunteers Becky is slowly recovering and is regaining physical and mental health and is also putting on some weight. The work that these groups of volunteers [CHBC] are doing in their communities is reflected by the good testimonies that ATprojects gets from the people whom they help.[Source: AT projects Media Unit]


Posted April 1, 2015 by atprojectsblogs in Community Home Based Care

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Nichola Goddard Continues To Light Up Papua New Guinea   Leave a comment

The Goddards with community members at a rural health centre in Gororomeka in the Daulo district of Eastern Highlands Province. This clinic is a Community Home Based Care centre and had solar powered lights installed

The Goddards with community members at a rural health centre in Gororomeka in the Daulo district of Eastern Highlands Province. This clinic is a Community Home Based Care centre and had solar powered lights installed

Nearly all the remote health centres in Papua New Guinea operate in the dark at night. Those that can afford to continually buy batteries use torches, while some use candles and lamps to treat patients.

Some even use “bomboms” (dried coconut palm leaves tied together and lit up) as a light to help deliver babies at night. While most of us might not be thinking about this issue, there are a few very generous organisations such as the Nichola Goddard Foundation and Light Up the World (LUTW) that are concerned and are working tirelessly to raise funds to ensure as many remote health centres in PNG are being lit up through solar power.

Tim & Sally GoddardTim and Sally Goddard, their daughters Victoria and Kate and colleagues from Canada who raise funds for ATprojects to light up rural and remote health centres in PNG paid a visit to ATprojects Centre in Goroka, Eastern Highlands from May 31st to June 3rd.

LUTW in partnership with the Nichola Goddard Foundation has been funding ATprojects to install solar lights in these health centres all over PNG and to-date ATprojects (with its local partners) have installed 410 solar lighting units in 246 rural health facilities over the past 5 years.

The Goddards said the purpose of their trip to the Eastern Highlands Province was to meet with ATprojects Co-Directors, to see firsthand the progress of the solar installations.

The Goddards & ATprojects team ready to walk to a rural health facility

The Goddards & ATprojects team ready to walk to a rural health facility

A highlight of their stay in the province was the visit to Gororomeka Community Home Based Care (CHBC) site, a rural health clinic mostly made from bush materials in the Daulo District. A two hours walk from the main road and up the Daulo mountain range was described as a great experience for the visitors. They said they now have a better understanding of how difficult it is to install solar lights in the rural health facilities that are situated in the rough terrain and mountainous areas in PNG.

The Goddards of course are not new to PNG, having taught in a number of rural schools in Milne Bay, East Sepik and Kainantu, Eastern Highlands province in the past. Back in Canada they raise funds for the Nichola Goddard Foundation, a project that was established in honour of Nichola Goddard, their daughter who was born in Papua New Guinea.

Nichola was a Captain in the 1st Regiment of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery when she was killed on May 17, 2006 in combat while serving with the Canadian military in Afghanistan.

As part of her legacy the Nichola Goddard Foundation was started in 2008 with the main aim to improve the quality and functionality of health care facilities in the rural areas of PNG by installing solar powered lighting systems especially in maternity rooms.

The Goddards said they plan to help over one thousand health facilities throughout the country by supporting the installation of solar lights units.

“Five years ago they installed eight solar units in the rural health clinics in the Trobriand Islands and Kirriwina of Milne Bay Province and they start to look for a PNG-based partner to work with and found ATprojects,” said Tim Goddard.

Walking a bush track to the Gororomeka rural health facilityFundraisings are carried out by the Nichola Goddard Foundation in Canada and the funds raised are then given to LUTW, who release these to ATprojects. LUTW is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to providing renewable energy and innovative lighting technologies to developing.

Also the Nichola Goddard Foundation is offering two scholarships to those who wish to do their Masters and PHDs in the following universities:

Captain Nichola KS Goddard Scholarship in Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary– Graduate students from one of three groups are eligible for the scholarship fund: they may be citizens of Papua New Guinea, the country where Nichola Goddard was born; they may be people of First Nations, Inuit or Metis descent, in whose company Goddard spent many of her formative years; or they may be citizens of Afghanistan, the place of her death.

Captain Nichola KS Goddard Scholarship at the University of Prince Edward Island –This is awarded to a student in the Faculty of Education who has an interest in the international specialization, has successfully completed both first year practical, and has achieved an average of 80% on his/her first year course work. Preference is given to a student whose placement interest is in a developing country.

For more information on scholarships go to

 By Janet Rowaro


ATprojects together with other partners in Eastern Highlands marked the World AIDS DAY at Peace Park in the heart of Goroka town on Dec 1st, 2014.

In line with this year’s theme; “Zero Discrimination –Access to Service is My Right “, ATprojects co-Director and Deputy Chairperson of the Provincial Aids Council (PAC), Miriam Layton urged everyone in the community to have access to health, counselling and VCT services being offered by service providers in the province.

Mrs Layton urged those living in denial of HIV to go forward and have access to counselling and testing services

Hundreds of people from all walks of life witnessed Wold Aids Day at Goroka Peace Park in the Eastern Highlands Province of PNG

Hundreds of people from all walks of life witnessed Wold Aids Day at Goroka Peace Park in the Eastern Highlands Province of PNG

“HIV virus is killing very silently in our family and house hold, community society and we must not ignore the services being offered to us. The National Government is injecting a lot of money to the service providers to ensure that we have access to those services and every person has the right to access them,” she said.

She said people who have been living in denial of HIV must go forward and access these services and it is free and by doing so is the way forward to eliminate the virus in the communities and the country as a whole. She added that ought to people to change their attitudes and contribute meaningfully to the development of the PNG.

ATproject display PHK during the World Aids Day on December Ist 2014

ATproject display PHK during the World Aids Day on December Ist 2014

Meanwhile a person living with HIV challenged youths to think carefully before making any decisions that could cost them their lives.

He said young people must know that they have a long way to go and they must refrain from engaging themselves in any risky sexual and promiscuous activities that could alter their lives and those of their families.

Other partners that participated in the World AIDS Day activities in the province included ST. Joseph’s Centre of Hope that conducted free VCT tests, Minivava, Mercy Works, Catholic Health Services, National Catholic Family life, Eastern Highlands Family Voice, Save the Children and Touching the Untouchables.




Sr. Josephine conducting a blood test on a patientOver a hundred people have received VCT services in the Kotuni community in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.  
 The rural mobile VCT service is conducted by the Community Home Based Care [CHBC] program run by ATprojects, a local non-government organization based in Goroka. The CHBC program is AusAID funded. 
 CHBC nursing officer Sister Josephine Andreas says VCT services were included as part of her site visit clinics to the ten CHBC sites in the Goroka and Daulo districts and in the Asaro valley.
 She said at Kotuni they were ‘requested’ by the community to conduct voluntary testing because the villagers wanted to be aware of their HIV status following the death of a fellow community member.
 Sr. Josephine said the follow-up is to confirm those who are in their ‘window period’.
 Goroka District Health Officer Michael Muri s commended the CHBC program for assisting in delivering basic health care services to their own people right at their door step.
 He said it ensures more people recieve VCT services without having to travel long distances into town.
 Muri said alarming statistics of sexually transmitted infections in villagers is a lead up to the spread and transmission of HIV/AIDS.


By Joshua Arlo on Monday 02/24/2014


CHBC volunteers see how ATP-Films are being made

CHBC volunteers see how ATP-Films are being made

ATprojects sees itself as a ‘family’ oriented organisation, and we try as much as possible to involve all our workers – including our volunteer staff – in all our various projects and programs.

Here are some of our Community Home Based Care (CHBC) staff learing about how our ATprojects Media Unit within our Information & Communication department create our videos and radio programs.

Having our CHBC learn the basics ensures they can participate in helping make our development films which promote our projects, programs and products.


Dr Yahan [far right] listens to Kururumba CHBC workers

Dr Yahan [far right] listens to Kururumba CHBC workers

Community home based care [CHBC] workers have been commended for taking on good leadership roles in their communities which add to the success of the CHBC program.

 Dr Gabriel Yahan, a rural general medical practioner based at the Megendi hospital in Simbu, said this following his visit to several CHBC sites in the Eastern Highlands Province while undergoing his masters in rural health.
The rural health course is a relatively new area of health practice conducted at the Kompiam hospital in the Enga Province.

Dr Yahan including several other colleagues in the same study stayed at ATprojects in Goroka to observe, learn and receive training in some of the various projects, programs and products that ATprojects provides and is involved in through its community development works and practical approach to finding and providing appropriate technologies solutions to assist rural people and communities.

As rural health doctors, Dr Yahan and his colleagues were interested in the CHBC program, managed by ATprojects and funded by AusAID.

ATprojects co-director Steve Layton said CHBC is proving to be life changing in communities. He said the program aims at providing basic health care services to rural people, including palliative care and monitoring to people living with HIV and AIDS in rural communities.

An impressed Dr Yahan said: “Through the CHBC program, ATprojects has shown and proven that it can come to rural communities and being a rural general health practitioner, it is really difficult to get donors and other stakeholders to have an impact in rural communities.

“This project (CHBC) has become quite successful and from my observation, there is some sort of leadership, and that is very important in that if the village people can take on the leadership role, that’s very important because they can actually achieve something like this.

“So as we were visiting, there was a guy who said that they have been working with the CHBC project here for a while and contributing something for the project.  So leadership is very important at the community level. If the community did not take part and did not take ownership and leadership of this project, then it would not have come this far.

“In identifying leadership at different communities and working along with that leadership, you could come up with this kind of project.”


Patients waiting to be served during an STI clinic at the Emmanuel CHBC site

Patients waiting to be served during an STI clinic at the Emmanuel CHBC site