Dietmar and I live in the most beautiful spot in the world and we are fortunate to be able to do something we love for a living. Unfortunately, not everyone in Papua New Guinea is so lucky as PNG remains one of the poorest countries in the world, despite its wealth from logging, fishing and mining. Somehow, all this income just doesn’t make it into the communities, so we help where we can.
Water for New Ireland
Water for Taskul Health Centre
Our latest project was to donate a 2000l water tank to the Health Centre at Taskul, New Hanover. For approx. 25,000 locals, this is the closest medical support by a long way, next stop is Kavieng, up to 3 hours by boat away. Betty, the head nurse, does a brilliant job up there, but the lack of water was getting to her. Some of our guests chipped in and on Friday, 27 July, Sam and I hopped on the boat with the water tank and delivered it to Betty. More
Babes in Arms
Our good friend Greg Parr from Cairns, who had helped me get hospital beds, physio beds, blood pressure cuffs last year also got bags full of baby clothing with the help of his wife, a nurse in Cairns. It took a number of other friends to bring those bags up here. Air Niugini is pretty good in letting Dietmar and I get away with excess luggage if it’s for a good cause, but I think we ended up with about 100kg of baby clothing, toys etc. and that was too much for even the good ladies at the Air Niugini desk in Cairns.
During Don Silcock’s visit to Lissenung in February, we visited the hospital one afternoon and handed out the baby clothes, with Don taking lots of pictures. We had so much stuff that we could even leave some with the nurses to hand out to future New Irelanders.
You can see more pictures, not only from our hospital visit, but also some of the best underwater photos you will ever see on Don’s website.
Beds for Kavieng Hospital
In 2010, our friend Andrew Bowes from PNG Holidays in Cairns asked me if we could use some school desks at the two schools at Enuk Island, “our” community and home to all of our staff. Some of you have visited the village and the small fee you paid bought chairs for the schools, but no desks. These desks from Andrew would be great to have, but only if we could get other stuff to fill a whole container, and hence make it worth our while. More
Lissenung Health Centre
Nozaki and I have started to run “clinics” at Lissenung for the locals. The patients usually come over in the evening and we’ve treated anything from tropical ulcers, bad infections, bush knife wounds, 2nd degree burns, asthma attacks and kidney infections! They call me Dr Ange around here now!
Our friend and guest Andrew from NYC even taught me how to suture and brought stacks of suture material including the needle holder, scissors etc. My first patient was Uncle Pete’s dog, who cut herself big time on iron sheeting and had a huge cut on the side of her neck. I’m proud to say that the scar is not very big, although it is of course covered by a lot of fur.
I have stitched up a few other people, but there are certain injuries that are above my pay grade, so the patients get sent to hospital in Kavieng.