Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has commended the leaders of Bougainville for the completion and operation of the Arawa School of Nursing, an important milestone in the development of the health sector in Bougainville and its district of Central Bougainville.

The Arawa School of Nursing is one of the two core priorities for the National and Bougainville governments as they work at developing more functionality for Bougainville in line with its special autonomous needs.

The Prime Minister said it was a “pleasant joy” to arrive in Arawa and see for himself the college up and running, and fully functional.

For the other core health priority of a Level-5 hospital for Bougainville, to be built in Arawa, Prime Minister Marape committed the National Government to fully supporting the government of Bougainville get the project off the ground.

He said he was pleased to note that the K70 million earmarked for the project is still available for the construction of the new hospital and encouraged the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) to move the project into its implementation phase.

“I want to advise for the procurement to run. We will continue to give support in the 2024 budget, the 2025 budget and in 2026.

“Hopefully before we go to the next elections, the hospital is delivered. I look forward to ticking off this major project,” Prime Minister Marape said.

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the contributions of the former Arawa hospital and the Arawa Technical School, describing them as “light bearers” for Bougainville before the crisis, and pledged to work with Bougainville leaders to get Arawa to regain its lost status.

The Prime Minister made these remarks on Friday when he visited the Arawa Hospital and the newly-constructed Arawa School of Nursing before launching the Central Bougainville Five Year District Development Plan.