New Country Director for Papua New Guinea

Burnet Institute

07 February, 2022

Image: New Burnet Country Director for Papua New Guinea, Dr Chani Kudakwashe

Burnet Institute is pleased to announce three senior appointments to our program in Papua New Guinea (PNG) including new Country Director, Dr Chani Kudakwashe, to be based in Port Moresby.

Dr Chani brings to the role more than two decades of clinical and public health program management experience in the fields of HIV and tuberculosis in Africa, Australia and the Pacific.

He is a former Team Leader of Burnet’s RID-TB (Reducing the Impact of Drug-resistant Tuberculosis) program, based in Daru, Western Province, PNG.

A further exciting appointment is that of Amy Williamson as Burnet’s new Deputy Country Director, Operations, to be based in Kokopo, East New Britain.

Ms Williamson has a wealth of experience and skills in Institutional and activity management and leadership, having spent the past 12 years working with Life Without Barriers in remote Aboriginal communities in Queensland.

Working closely with Dr Chani and Ms Williamson will be Dr Shahid Islam, Burnet’s new Deputy Country Director, Programs.

Dr Islam has been acting in this position since late 2021, providing valuable support and leadership to our activities in PNG.

Dr Stenard Hiasihri will continue to be an important part of Burnet’s PNG leadership team as Chief Public Health Officer and Team Leader of the Fleming Fund Country Grant.

Collectively, the new team will support Burnet’s longstanding work in PNG to address critical health problems through the implementation of community-based programs using international development and public health principles.

There is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in most districts and provinces of PNG, where less than three percent of the country’s nine million citizens are fully vaccinated.

Other major health problems currently affecting PNG include:

  • communicable diseases, with malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory disease major causes of morbidity and mortality,
  • a generalised HIV epidemic driven mainly by heterosexual transmission, and
  • high rates of maternal, infant and child mortality compared to other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Find out more about Burnet’s programs in Papua New Guinea and how you can support this life-saving work.

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Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Burnet Institute

[email protected]




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