Catholic aged care launches HIV aid to PNG

A NSW Port Macquarie parish aged care centre has launched a project to assist a HIV/AIDS program run by Port Moresby diocese as Religious leaders meet in Perth today to explore ways they can be better "neighbours" to their Pacific counterparts.

St Agnes Parish Catholic Care of the Aged has announced that its nursing managers and the TAFE NSW North Coast Institute Nursing, Aged Care, Children's services have joined hands to assist Ametur House in East Boroko Port Moresby and Veifa'a Health Care Facility and Training School in Papua New Guinea.

The announcement follows a visit by Archbishop John Ribat of Port Moresby to Port Macquarie yesterday where he thanked locals for their initiative.

HIV/AIDS is an urgent and increasing concern for the people of PNG where up until late 2005, 13,465 cases of the disease had been detected, project officials say.

Life expectancy in PNG is 56 years for females and 58 years for males.

Meanwhile, more than 100 leaders of Australian religious institutes and societies who are meeting this week says that civil unrest and the threat of natural disasters in the Pacific are "more than enough reasons" for Religious in Australia to explore ways in which they can be better neighbours to their brothers and sisters in the Pacific nations.

The 2007 Catholic Religious Australia assembly will invite all participants to explore what it means to be neighbours in this region, chair Fr Mark Raper says.

"Catholic Religious in Australia will seek to learn from the experiences of our brothers and sisters in the Pacific and East Timor.

"Together, we will explore how relationships may be enriched by strengthening the long-standing and extensive networks among the Religious communities of these countries," he said.

"The Catholic Church - often through the ministry of Religious - is a main provider of health and education services in countries of the Pacific and East Timor while our own society is enriched by the many people from these countries now living in Australia."

Photo: Di Paton, Sharen Marshall, Steve Quirk, Archbishop John Ribat, Sue McCann, Joy Walsh with items donated to the Veifa'a Health Care facility


SOURCE
St Agnes Aged Care (Media Release 25/6/07)
Being neighbours in the Pacific (Australian Catholic Religious Media Release, 25/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
HIV AIDS Papua New Guinea (Ausaid)
Catholic Religious Australia

ARCHIVE
Catholic agency in World AIDS Day appeal (CathNews, 1/12/06)

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