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Kumul Petroleum signs MOA to fund upgrade of The ANGAU Memorial National Cancer Services
The signing of the MOA will see Kumul Petroleum fund the procurement, installation and commissioning of a new “Radioactive Source” to the Cobalt 60 Radiation Treatment Machine currently housed at The National Cancer Services as soon as the license to operate radiation source is granted to Papua New Guinea.

Kumul Petroleum signs MOA to fund upgrade of The ANGAU Memorial National Cancer Services

Papua New Guineans will benefit from access to radiation treatment and chemotherapy drugs in as soon as six months’ time following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) today, between the Ministry of Health, ANGAU Memorial Hospital and Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (Kumul Petroleum), who will fund the upgrade of The ANGAU Memorial National Cancer Services over the next three years.

In the past year Parliament has moved legislation that enables Papua New Guinea to access specialist equipment required to combat Cancer, more specifically, the Cobalt 60 “Radioactive Source”. The agreement will see Kumul Petroleum fund the procurement, installation and commissioning of a new “Radioactive Source” to the Cobalt Machine currently housed at The National Cancer Services as soon as the license to operate radiation source is granted to Papua New Guinea.

The “Radioactive Source” has a lifespan of 5.26 years and was last purchased in 2008. By 2013, the radioactive source reached its lifespan and could no longer produce the required radioactive energy to treat cancer.

Located at ANGAU Memorial Hospital in Lae, Morobe Province, one of the largest referral hospitals in the country serving patients from the Momase and Highlands region, the upgrade of the facility will see cancer patients receive specialist care.

According to a Cancer Services Review of 2001, the magnitude of the cancer burden in Papua New Guinea is substantially underestimated as available data is based on patient admission and registrations of cancer biopsies. The Review also stated that with incidence rates conservatively estimated to over 15,000 new cases per year, and the potential health burden from cancer; it is essential that a coordinated and comprehensive strategy be developed via a national Cancer Control Program.

To this end, Kumul Petroleum is therefore pleased to further support government efforts through the realisation of a Memorandum of Agreement that will see also the realisation of recommendations that Human Resources including the employment of a overseas-trained radiation oncologist among other specialists to train and develop national staff, the maintenance of facilities, and provision of chemotherapy drugs are provided for at The ANGAU Memorial National Cancer Services.

The Project will be known as the KPHL ANGAU Cancer Support Program and managed by a Project Steering Committee comprising of two representatives each from the Ministry of Health, ANGAU memorial Hospital and Kumul Petroleum. The Project will be fully funded at a sum total of K15 million by Kumul Petroleum over 3 years, with an annual support of K5 million.

Kumul Petroleum Managing Director Wapu Sonk said at the signing of the MOA, “Kumul Petroleum’s Vision is aligned to Vision 2050 that promotes the development goals articulated in the PNG Development Strategy Plan 2010 – 2030 (PNGSDP). This is why it is the organisations mission to empower the people of Papua New Guinea through key socio- economic development programs that support rural electrification, education and health, which is particularly close to our hearts at this given time.

Mr Sonk said that today’s signing of the MOA represents a significant undertaking by any national company to ensure that returns to PNG’s investment are to the benefit of all Papua New Guineans, and as we focuses our efforts on fighting a new health risk, Kumul Petroleum as the national oil and gas company (NOC) strongly believes that it is its obligation to also invest in the ongoing battles that we have, as a people with cancer and heart disease. This is despite the tough economic and market conditions given fluctuating oil prices, Kumul Petroleum has taken the step to support this as the company belongs to the people.

The KPHL ANGAU Cancer Support Program is in direct support of the National Government’s Strategic Vision to improve Cancer Services in the country and bring the level of Cancer Services up to World Health Standards. This program and initiatives represent Kumul Petroleum’s transition to a new level of maturity as Papua New Guinea’s NOC.

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