Bachelor of Health Sciences (Rural Health)

Program code : (BHSc-RH)


The Bachelor of Health Sciences (Rural Health) program trains Health Extension Officers (HEOs) to serve the needs of the rural population (health centres) in Papua New Guinea. They provide basic health care for 87% of PNG’s population living in rural areas of PNG. HEOs are trained to be prepared to work in disadvantages areas, with limited resources, to provide quality health services, particularly aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality rates. Health Extension profession on the other hand also, owes its existence or survival to the PNG rural communities’ health needs and demands. The program aims to produce competent HEOs imbued with Christian principles and ethical values to be leaders of health teams in rural and remote parts of PNG.

The Bachelor of Health Sciences (Rural Health) program aims to prepare graduates who:

  • display the right attitudes (compassion, caring, honesty, attentive, assertive, empathic and kindhearted), knowledge and skills in the delivery of quality health services.
  • practice competently, confidently and are able to work within limited resources providing care for the disadvantaged in the rural areas
  • can perform clinical duties caring for patients as fellow human beings, are committed, passionate about their work, and maintain professional ethics at all times
  • are committed for Public Health activities to promote health and wellbeing and offer effective means and ways to prevent diseases
  • practice excellent management and administrative skills in the rural health facilities.
  • are committed to improve health service delivery in PNG
  • are committed to lifelong learning.
  • maintain professionalism at all times, being respectful, honest and trustworthy

In addition, as a program of Divine Word University, the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Rural Health) program is informed by the University’s strategic objectives, core values and graduate attributes.

The seven strategic objectives of the DWU Strategic Master Plan 2016-2026 (DWU, 2017), are to:

  1. provide all students with transformative educational experiences that achieve DWU’s graduate attributes and are consistent with its core values
  2. increase innovation in teaching and learning to deliver pedagogically sound and efficient programs
  3. intensify research and knowledge exchange
  4. increase productive partnerships
  5. enhance staff capabilities
  6. optimise organisational effectiveness
  7. enable financial sustainability.

Core values of DWU are: integrity, academic excellence, community engagement, respect, diversity, hospitality, learning for life and social responsibility. These values are embraced by staff and embedded in all programs. In an era of increasing access to electronic information, special attention is given to integrity and educating people to avoid plagiarism.

Graduate attributes of scholarship and social awareness are embedded in the EdD program covering professional knowledge, analysis and problem solving, research, information technology, personal development, communication, social responsibility and social interaction. Graduates are guided by the HEO professional Code of Ethics, approved by the PNG Medical Board. Further, a HEO graduate will be able to perform in the four core areas of their roles and responsibilities, as summarized below and described in full in Appendix One. These four roles for HEOs are:

  1. Health Extension Officer as a clinical practitioner
  2. Health Extension Officer as administrator and manager
  3. Health Extension Officer as a public health coordinator/advocator
  4. Health Extension Officer as a scientist and scholar


Units Offered

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Madang Campus

Divine Word University,

Allotment Portion 7,

Section Milinch Kranket,

Nabasa Road,

P.O Box 483,
Madang 511, Madang,
Papua New Guinea

[email protected]

Tel: (+675) 424 1800
       (+675) 422 2937
       (+675) 7111 0002

Port Moresby Campus

DWU POM Campus
PO Box 582
Konedobu, NCD 131

[email protected]

Tel: (+675) 325 5668
       (+675) 7091 5741


Wewak Campus

St. Benedict’s campus,
PO Box 542
Kaindi, Wewak, ESP 531

[email protected]

Tel: (+675) 456 2327
       (+675) 456 3243

Fax: (+675) 456 2331


Rabaul Campus

c/- OLSH Kabaleo
P.O. Box 138
Kokopo, ENB 613

[email protected]

Tel: (+675) 982 8213
Fax: (+675) 982 8339


Tabubil Campus

c/- DWU POM Campus
PO Box 582
Konedobu, NCD 131


Tel: (+675) 325 5668
       (+675) 7091 5741

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