On May 16th, more than 70 bags of blood were collected by the Pacific International Hospital (PIH) at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) from UPNG students, staff and volunteers that turned up and supported the Blood Drive organized by the Equal Playing Field University Action Group (UAG).
In collaboration with PIH, the EPF UAG Team & PIH Teams set up at 9am in the morning and throughout the day gave UPNG students, staff and volunteers the opportunity to become aware of their health status with free HIV / AIDS testing and donate blood. EPF Program Officer, Abednego Airi said, “it’s important for an individual to know about their health status so the blood drive gave us an opportunity for us through PIH to offer this free HIV / AIDS testing to prospective blood donors and anyone that wanted to know about this. It was a very successful day and we, the EPF UAG hope to run this activity in collaboration with PIH again in the second semester of 2019. “
The Equal Playing Field’s University Action Group (UAG) is part of EPF’s ‘Safe Schools Initiative’ and its members are comprised of UPNG student volunteers who recently graduated from the EPF’s “Changemakers Academy.” The EPF Changemakers Academy offers volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 certified training to equip them with the necessary skills and education to carry out EPF’s other programs delivered to NCD & Bougainville primary schools. UAGs are a dynamic group of individuals, trained with valuable knowledge on Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Child Protection, Gender Equality and Respectful Relationships Education.
EPF currently has one active UAG under a MoA signed with the University of Papua New Guinea, and is currently in negotiations with and looking at bringing online UAGs at the University of Goroka, Pacific Adventist University and Divine Word University in 2019.
The day was a huge success with more than 70 people now knowing their HIV/AIDS status through the free testing by PIH, and more than 70 bags of blood collected on the day.