Health phone services in Papua New Guinea: saving lives or just wasting money?

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Monday 13 April 2015


Lecture Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU


Amanda Watson


Louana Gaffey
+61 2 6125 8244


Living in a rural village or an urban settlement in Papua New Guinea, what would you do if there was a need for emergency medical assistance during the night? Buses and taxis are frequently unavailable after dark. You most likely do not own a car. But these days you might have a mobile phone. Is there someone you could phone? What number would you phone? Will someone answer? Will they help?

There are few health service-related, staffed phone numbers available to meet the needs of people living in Papua New Guinea. The speaker has been involved in the establishment of two such services, in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea and with funding from the Government of Australia. She will discuss research findings in relation to the first phone service and outline some initial early lessons learnt regarding the second initiative. The talk should appeal to those interested in rural service delivery, health communication or the application of technologies in development.

About the Speaker

Dr. Amanda H A Watson is Mobile Communication Research Consultant for the Economic and Public Sector Program, a program run by the Government of Papua New Guinea and funded by the Australian Government. The aim of her role is to run research projects and offer strategic advice about the use of mobile phones in service delivery and development efforts in Papua New Guinea.

Dr. Watson completed her doctoral research on mobile phones in rural areas of Papua New Guinea, with research ethics approval from both Queensland University of Technology and Divine Word University. This was the first large-scale, independent research project on mobile phones in that country.

Dr. Watson is a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University within the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies. Dr. Watson has published in Pacific Journalism Review, Media Asia, Australian Journalism Review and The Australian Journal of Emergency Management.

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