Longitudinal morbidity and mortality trends are critical key performance indicators that can be used by large oil- and gas-development projects to understand evolving patterns of disease present in host communities. These communities typically provide a substantial number of direct and contract workers; hence, monitoring the underlying burden of disease is extremely important. As part of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, a systematic longitudinal effort was made to collect a broad range of morbidity and mortality data for those communities directly adjacent to PNG LNG activities. These data were used to inform workplace disease-monitoring efforts.
Within the PNG-LNG-sponsored Partnership in Health Program, longitudinal morbidity and mortality data were collected by the PNG Institute for Medical Research. A consistent and objective set of morbidity and mortality data were obtained from key community health clinics adjacent to major project operations and facilities and through internationally established verbal autopsy techniques. Morbidity and mortality data were reviewed and analyzed semiannually and used to inform workplace disease-control efforts.
Key findings included the following:
Understanding and monitoring the disease trends in proximate communities provides unique insight into the workforce and provides an opportunity to tailor and target programs that will directly enhance workplace health and safety. The PNG LNG Project developed a unique longitudinal morbidity and mortality surveillance system that objectively informs both workplace and community health efforts.
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