Public-private partnerships in the response to HIV: experience from the resource industry in Papua New Guinea.Rural Remote Health. 2014; 14(3):2868.RR
Although Papua New Guinea (PNG) has made some progress in social development over the past 30 years, the country's Human Development Index has slowed in recent years, placing it below the regional average. In 2012, the estimated HIV prevalence for adults aged 15-49 years was 0.5% and an estimated 25,000 people were living with HIV. Although reduced from previous estimates, the country's HIV prevalence remains the highest in the South Pacific region. While the faith-based and non-governmental sectors have engaged in HIV interventions since the epidemic began, until recently the corporate sector has remained on the margins of the national response. In 2008, the country's largest oil and gas producer began partnering with national and provincial health authorities, development partners and global financing institutions to contribute to the national HIV strategy and implementation plan. This article provides an overview of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and their application to public health program management, and then describes the PPP that was developed in PNG.
Innovative national and local PPPs have become a core component of healthcare strategy in many countries. PPPs have many forms and their use in low- and middle-income countries has progressively demonstrated increased service outputs and health outcomes beyond what the public sector alone could achieve. A PPP in PNG has resulted in an oil and gas producer engaging in the response to HIV, including managing the country's US$46 million HIV grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Given the increasing expectations of the international community in relation to corporate responsibility and sustainability, the role of the corporate sector in countries like PNG is critical. Combining philanthropic investment with business strategy, expertise and organisational resource can contribute to enhancing health system structures and capacity.