Category Archives: Health

The Hela Provincial Health Authority Welcomes A New Professional Team To Tari

Post Courier Author 

The Hela Provincial Health Authority Board (PHA) appointed Dr James Kintwa as the Acting Chief Executive Officer recently.

PHA Board also welcomed Dr Anthony Wal as the Director of Curative Services and engaged seven new doctors with skills across a broad range of medicine.

Hela PHA Chairman Peter Botten said recently that PHA was relying on volunteer doctors to provide essential health services to a population of over 300,000 people and he is pleased with the progress of having a highly skilled team to develop PHA.

“It was only 18 months ago that we were facing a crisis where we had no executive team, no systems and only one government funded medical officer.

After a short period of time we now have a highly capable executive team, strong governance systems and seven doctors funded from within PNG government systems including two female doctors. This is a great outcome for the people of Hela,” Mr Botten said.

He thanked Dr Robert Paralu who was the lone doctor at Tari for many months until others arrived to provide much needed support.

He said commend Oil Search Foundation for working in partnership with PHA in providing good package in attracting professionals over to Hela.

The Hela PHA team is also determined to provide a positive and fun working environment so that people enjoy their work and have opportunities for social engagement.

Gynecologist Dr Lissing Hames said that it has been a privilege to work at the Hela Provincial Hospital where “there is a positive team based approach, great support and the opportunity to learn and develop new skills”.

The new acting CEO, Dr Kintwa brings a wealth of health and leadership experience to Hela. Previously the CEO of the Mt Hagen Hospital and of the Western Highlands PHA, Dr Kintwa understands the challenges and opportunities in delivering health services across an entire province and has the experience to further develop Hela’s newly created PHA.

Meanwhile there is challenge in Hela rural Health service due to lack of funding with PHA undertaking a rural health audit to determine the highest priorities for health services and will work with Government to improve the flow of funding.


Health Centre In Dire Straits

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BWAGAOIA health centre on Misima island in Samarai-Murua, Milne Bay province has been closed down due to drug shortage, limiting people’s access to medical services.

This was revealed by MP for Samarai-Murua, Isi Henry Leonard.

Mr Leonard has already made arrangement for a medical doctor to be on Misima to provide the medical service and expertise.

“My challenge now is to look at alternative sources where I can draw medical drug supplies and have them supplied to four LLG areas which are Gwasopa, Jinzo on Rossel island, Nimoa on Sudest Island, Bwagaoia at Misima and Samarai health centre.

I need to provide drugs immediately, to the health centres” he said.

A few patients and villagers from Kimuta island which is about 30 minutes dinghy ride from Misima also reported a similar issue and that they were not seeking medical services.

Mr Leonard said the geographical remoteness of the electorate is making health service delivery “most challenging” and that he would address this as his first task in office.

“We are so remote and cut-off to vital services and that our people are suffering. There are deaths that should have been prevented but are happening due to lack of medicine and medical professionals,” Mr Leonard said.

Snake Bite Awareness Vital

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St John Ambulance PNG is looking at focusing its emergency medical technician (EMT) and ambulance operator team training to deal with snakebites.

According to St John Ambulance PNGs’ chief staff officer, Matthew Cannon, the prevalence of snakebite related deaths in PNG is extremely high and warranted greater attention.

“On average, about three people in PNG die of snake bites everyday, which is equivalent to about 1000 a year. In Australia they only get one snake bite related death a year. That is equal to about 1000 times the snakebite related deaths for a population that is about 33 times smaller,” he said.

Statistics have indicated a higher occurrence of poisonous snake bites along the coastal regions of PNG, especially along the Papuan coast.

Gapi Mala, a 56 year-old from Kore village in Rigo was bitten by a death adder a month ago while working in his garden.

According to Mr Mala, he had not felt the bite, but realized something was wrong when he started coughing up blood.

The prompt actions of his family members who took him to Kwikila station hospital and then to Port Moresby general hospital saved his life.

According to Mr Cannon there needs to be awareness of how to deal with snakebites.

“We need to dispel some rumors; firstly, sucking the venom out of the bite wound doesn’t work and in some cases may even make things worse. Cutting the wound also and tying off the limbs to restrict blood flow doesn’t work.”

“The first thing you should always do is call an ambulance. After that, you need to put a compression bandage on the wound and try not to move the patient around as much as possible. This can increase blood flow, causing the venom to spread much faster through the body. If the patient starts experiencing nausea, vomiting or drooping eyelids, put them on their side to clear their airways,” he said.

Mr Cannon said it was important to identify the type of snake that bit you, as some snakes have a dry bite and are not venomous.

“It is helpful if you can take a photo of the snake to help identify it, but about 90 per cent of all snakebite cases we deal with are caused by the Papuan Taipan or Papuan Black. We deal with several snakebite cases in a week in Port Moresby.”

Child Health Nurses Society Launched



Child health nurses in the country now have a society that will ensure the nurses professional development needs are met and supported especially those in the greatest need in professional knowledge and skills improvement.

Child Health Nurses Society of PNG, president Sr Agnes Agebigo who is also the co-ordinator paediatric unit at the Port Moresby General Hospital said their main aim is to promote a healthy child to be tomorrow’s adult.

This society was launched last Friday at the Port Moresby General Hospital by the hospital’s deputy chief executive officer Dr David Mokela.

Acedemic representative from the School of Medical and Health Sciences, UPNG Paediatric department Sister Gebuo Nanu said, she feels that it is the clinical nurse responsibility to feel this gap.

“Be reminded that from now, society is not a union but it is something to do with professional development and personal development in your career as child health nurses.

“In 2012, the concept of this society came about; it did not eventuate till now. We also must reflect on the National Health Plan 2011 to 2020, as it talks about the Key Responsible Areas (KRA’S) and KRA 4 states that improve the survival of a child,” Sr Nanu said.

She said the infant mortality rate at the national level is between 30 to 100 per cent varying from province to province.

“So with that KRA 4 in mind, we will move things forward so we can have an impact in the reduction of infant mortality rate.

“That comes in partnership with the paediatric medical society and doctors in the country as well,” she said.

Sr Nanu challenged young and upcoming nurses to be committed and dedicated in moving PNG were told observe their practice ethically, she said.

Call to set up Heart Institute


Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko says a heart institute will be established in the country to treat patients with heart diseases.

Speaking as patron of the Operation Open Heart yesterday, during a reception at Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby, Mr Tkatchenko said a heart institute will allow people to check their heart conditions.

“As patron of the Operation Open Heart, I will be working with the Health Minister Sir Puka Temu, the Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive officer, and management and every party, to ensure we have a heart centre and program in PNG,” he said.

“Because I know our doctors here are as good as others anywhere else and I will put my own life in their hands.

“Do not underestimate their talents.”

The new minister did not disclose details about the institute.

Dr Noah Tapaua, leading cardiothoracic surgeon at Port Moresby General Hospital, said the only way to help local patients was to establish a Papua New Guinea Centre of Excellence Cardiology Institute.

“It is very difficult to get training in a developed country, almost difficult and this is the way forward,” Dr Tapaua said. During the reception, two cheques totalling K95,000 were presented to Operation Open Heart foundation – K75,000 from Bank South Pacific and K20,000 from the Malaysian Society.

Dr Tapaua said the money will be used to support our local doctors to go to Singapore and training.

“We are not using the money to buy equipment now we are also using it to send our nurses and doctors for training,” he said.

He said that about K1.7 million has been spent on equipment and medicine and thanked the donors for their support.

Drug Shortage Is Being Addressed, Says Kase.

Post Courier Author 

HEALTH Secretary Pascoe Kase is aware of the current shortage of medical supplies and consumables, and he and his team are in regular contact with health services to determine the high-priority supplies of concern.

Mr Kase said this yesterday in response to a number of concerns raised by the community, and some public hospitals, regarding the shortage of medical supplies and some critical medicines.

“I am aware of the very legitimate concerns expressed by the community, and of the doubts this issue has raised in the capacity of the health system to deliver timely and appropriate care.”

“I did not want the community or my colleagues in health services to form the view that nothing is happening to address the shortages.” He said that during the past two months, a large number of orders have been placed for the urgent delivery of medicines and other supplies.

Mr Kase said a number of these supplies have been delivered and distributed; however, a disturbing quantity of orders have yet to be delivered, despite a number of efforts to encourage suppliers.

Mr Kase, and his procurement experts, met with representatives from a number of firms to discuss why it was not possible to meet the urgent requirement of the health system. He said it was a “positive and instructive meeting” for all parties, and a number of issues were identified. “This included communication issues, problems, at times, with the department’s ordering strategy and concerns over payments being received in a timely fashion.”

Political Stability Needed for Continuation of Development

***PNC-Led Government to Bring New Era of Growth***


PM O’Neill was speaking with the people of Wiabo in the Obura Wanenara district of Goroka yesterday, where he committed to continue road construction in the province.

“In only five years, we have delivered on our promises in our simple policies, which you have seen all around you,” the Prime Minister said.

“Give us another five years, and you will see this country transform. Road infrastructure is the key to economic development and has been our government’s priority in ensuring the rural population have access to better services.

“Road infrastructure is essential for the delivery of healthcare and education so that services reach rural communities easily and on time.

“We will further continue funding for more classrooms and make sure educational materials reach the schools.”

The Prime Minister was campaigning with Obura Wanenara candidate John Boito, where he urged the people to vote for Mr Boito so that he can continue building the road from where it was left.

“There has been so much negativity during this campaign from the opposition, they have made wild accusations. But action speaks louder than words, and this has been demonstrated in the last five years.”

Village leaders in Wiabo applauded the commitments from the Prime Minister and Mr Boito after so many past decades of being neglected.

“In five years, we have delivered proper classrooms, and your children are going to school.

“Before we came to government, this was just a dream.

“Free education to continue under a PNC-led government, but it would be cancelled if the opposition had a chance to form government.

“The benefits of free education are clear for your children, particularly families in villages with parents who could not afford school fees.

“Our government will keep your kids in school so they can have better lives as they grow into adults.”

The Prime Minister was accompanied by PNC candidates including, Governor Julie Soso, Minister Nick Kuman and Minister Benny Allan.


Post-Courier June 7, 2017

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