More than 130 people graduated as 10,000 Toes ambassadors after attending a three-day summit held at Pacific Adventist University (PAU) in Port Moresby, PNG, from October 21 to 23.
Learning how to run health expos and community health checks, the new ambassadors are now ready to assist the campaign in fighting against the rise of diabetes in PNG.
Following the three-day summit, further training was given to lead ambassadors from local missions in PNG—which includes mission presidents, health directors and health professionals.
The five-day training focused on two intervention programs—ELIA Wellness and Live More Abundantly—and equipped leaders with tools, resources and skills to help roll out the 10,000 Toes Campaign in PNG.
“It is exciting to have the debut 10,000 Toes Wellness Summit take place and the training of the health directors in the Live More Abundantly program to help turn the tide of diabetes and other chronic diseases,” said 10,000 Toes Campaign coordinator Pamela Townend.
“10,000 Toes have been planning this event in Papua New Guinea for a long time and are thrilled to take the important health message to its communities.”
The team from Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea led by PNG Union Mission health director Pastor Zachary Lipen, South Pacific Division health director Dr Geraldine Przybylko, Trans Pacific Union Mission regional health director George Kwong, and associate regional ambassador in Fiji Mary-Clare, with the support from PAU under the leadership of Vice-Chancellor Professor Lohi Matainaho, saw the program turn out to be a success.
Dr Przybylko was excited to see so many getting involved. “The vision and strategy of the 10,000 Campaign was shared at the 10,000 Toes Wellness Summit and it was exciting to see administration, health professionals, pastors and members embrace it and be trained as 10,000 Toes ambassadors committed to champion the blended ministry of health, healing and hope,” she said.
The SPD health leader spent two days working with PAU vice-chancellor Professor Lohi Matainaho and his team to develop the business plan for an on-campus lifestyle medicine centre. The proposal was presented to the government and well received.
“It was so encouraging to get the government’s support for creating a Lifestyle Medicine Centre of Excellence that uses a whole-person approach model that positively impacts PNG and can be rolled out across the country. The government was also supportive of the 10,000 Toes strategy and transforming churches into wellness hubs to educate and empower the community to whole-person health,” said Dr Przybylko.
PNG is one of 10 countries in the South Pacific region where the campaign is helping in the fight against diabetes.