Short Communication

Rural healthcare workers views on the introduction of solar power and oxygen concentrators in health facilities in Papua New Guinea: a qualitative study

AUTHORS

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Francis Pulsan1
MMed, Lecturer in Child Health

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Trevor Duke2
MD, FRACP, FCICM, Professor

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John D Vince3
FRCP (Edfin), MD (Dundee), Deputy Dean (Academic and Research) *

AFFILIATIONS

1 School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, PO Box 5623, Boroko, Port Moresby, NCD, Papua New Guinea

2 School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, PO Box 5623, Boroko, Port Moresby, NCD, Papua New Guinea; and Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, School Of Paediatrics, Royal Childrens Hospital – Paediatrics, Melbourne, Australia

3 School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, PO Box 5623, Boroko, Port Moresby, NCD, Papua New Guinea; and Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Royal Childrens Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

ACCEPTED: 1 July 2021


early abstract:

Introduction: A motivated, well supported rural health work force is required to provide appropriate child health services to the rural population. This study explored the views of rural health workers on the impact of a programme to improve oxygen delivery systems and to provide reliable power to their health facilities.
Methods: A pre-tested self-administered open question survey was carried out among rural health workers from 38 health facilities in which oxygen concentrators had been installed, including 30 with solar power.Thematic analysis was carried out on the responses.
Results: The programme was highly appreciated. Benefits extended beyond the ability to treat children with a reliable source of oxygen. Participants reported the positive community response to improved patient care and avoiding patient referrals. They stressed their wish for further improvements in infrastructure and for continuing education.
Conclusion: The programme improved morale and job satisfaction. The views of rural health workers are important in assessing programs effectiveness.