PNG has fallen further on the the United Nations Human Development Index, now ranked 156 (out of 187 listed)- making it one of the least developed nations on earth.
It is a hard place for many women. Many people consider it to have one of the highest rate of gender violence and rape in the world. According to UNICEF*, when combining a high maternal mortality rate and high birth rate, one in 110 women will die in pregnancy and childbirth (compared to 1 in 8000 in industrialized nations). That means women in PNG are 72 times more likely to die here than if they lived in the US, Australia, or other developed nations.
Likewise in 2012, 63 out of 100,000 children are estimated to die before the age of 5. In the United states it is only 7 out of 100,000.*
In PNG there are 5 doctors per 100,000 people (compared to the world average of 139 doctors per 100,000 or the US which has 242/100,000).
Annual government spending for public medicines is only about US$6 per capita! (That means on average there is $6 worth of medicine available per person per year). This is why our government supplies of medicines often run short. (See our donor page for ways you can help us get medicines.)
Over 80% of the population are subsistence farmers who live in rural areas where “basic services” such as roads, schools, communications, police, vaccines and medicine are unreliable or completely unavailable.
All of the churches in PNG together operate approximately 50% of health facilities in the country and 80% in the rural majority. Kudjip Nazarene Hospital is a 128 bed hospital on the only highlands highway. Even we sometimes forget how much of remote PNG is truly medically unserved, not just underserved. (For more information about our work in rural areas see our partner ministry – Rural Health Services).
The needs are great and we appreciate your prayers, encouragement, financial partnership, and those who can come work along side us in medicine or work and witness teams! Together we are the body of Christ touching these great needs, one person at a time.
(* statistics from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/papuang_statistics.html)