Follow the footsteps of… Thomas Awayand in Papua New Guinea.

Follow the footsteps of PNG“My name is Thomas Awayang and I live in Papua New Guinea (PNG). I resigned from the government in 2015 after 25 years of service, to follow my passion for helping others and I have been in the mission field for the last 6 years.

I first heard about the 10,000 Toes Campaign at the Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Fiji in 2020 and soon after that, I got involved in promoting the 10,000 Toes Campaign in this mission.

As the Team Ambassador in this local PNG mission and a Health Director, I plan and organize activities such as;
•  training the 10,000 Toes Campaign Ambassadors, and
•  overall implementation of the campaign.

I also advocate the 10,000 Toes Campaign with the governments in two provinces as major partners who are currently keen on collaboration and partnership.

In terms of service delivery in Papua New Guinea (PNG), we have 13 or more Health Clinics that are providing health services in both provinces and there is a need for an increasing number of new clinics yet to be built.

For the health status of the mission as a whole, there is a bit of a challenge in the way that most are health illiterate, especially on lifestyle diseases.

There needs to be more awareness of how lifestyle diseases are affecting the general population. During these last few years, I have tried to disseminate more information in this regard.

The major issues and challenges we are facing right now in Papua New Guinea (PNG) include:

  1. Funding constraints for training and supply of health kit bags,
  2. Currently, there is an influx of patients with lifestyle diseases who need to be seen by the physicians at the hospital.

We are currently working with the Eastern Highlands Provincial Health Authority to create a partnership that will formally allow these patients in the hospital.

The joy that I have now is that the 10,000 Toes Campaign is going mission-wide in Papua New Guinea (PNG) because we have trained more Ambassadors and they then are doing their training of Ambassadors at their localities and the number of Ambassadors is increasing gradually!

I am so happy and praise God that He has answered my prayer as I started this campaign at the initial stage.

I have Ambassadors that are both in mission and employees, health workers and government health professionals as well as church members who are taking the lead in the program.”

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