A Tropical Storm at last to give us a break from the exhausting heat – even the locals are complaining that hem hot tumas! We certainly know that we are back with Jenny thrust into the clinical work as Dr Aliziru (the Solomon Island doctor who has been left in charge during Dr Dina’s absence) went for a well-earned break. Although the hospital is not too full, there are some very sick patients keeping her busy. Graham arrived from Honiara a few days later and has been confronted with the administration of a hospital struggling to maintain the service to the local community as a result of financial constraints and problems with infrastructure. There is no money set aside for maintenance, so even the newer houses are starting to rot in this hot and damp climate, and the termites are always ready to attack. Despite these problems the local people continue to run their lives, dividing themselves between their families and their work.They were pleased to see us back at Helena Goldie after several months away.
It is good to be back to support them as we work together. We value your interest, support and prayers.
Graham arrived in Munda on Saturday afternoon but returned to Honiara on Sunday morning escorting a patient with bowel obstruction. Whilst at the National Referral Hospital he was able to discuss several other patients with medical staff in the paediatric and orthopaedic departments.
The situation at Helena Goldie Hospital is generally good with a reasonable level of nursing staff on the wards. Pharmacy and the medical laboratory service remains restricted by lack of supplies. The water supply to the hospital remains intermittent, partly due to key members of staff on annual leave.
Jenny continues at the hospital, transferring patients as necessary. Most people are finding it too hot here at present.
We had a pleasant and useful time in both Adelaide and Melbourne before flying on to Honiara. We were able to discuss past and future projects for Helena Goldie Hospital and College of Nursing. Jenny moved on to Munda on Wednesday; Graham has spent three days in Honiara, mainly in the various hospital departments, meeting old colleagues and discussing plans for this year. By chance a general surgeon was in the hospital today who visited H.G.H. in September 2009 with the Loloma Foundation and we were able to discuss a number of issues regarding hospital services, future surgical tours to the West Province and some aspects of public health.
It was inevitably a shock to arrive here with temperatures over 30 degress centigrade, but the sea breezes do help by day. The road in Honiara are busier than they were, with more H.G.V.’s than before. Currently there is a team from Australia & U.S. at the National Referral Hospital teaching endoscopy to some of the doctors here.
At Christmas we remember that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us……full of grace and truth” John 1 14. We have had 9 months at home in the U.K. with a wonderful family Christmas in Scotland and as we leave tomorrow again for the Solomon Islands we go in the knowledge of “God’s abundant provision of grace” Romans 5 17. We feel sad to say goodbye again but look forward to seeing old friends and the challenges ahead. We hope that the internet will be more reliable this time following the installation of a satellite dish at Helena Goldie Hospital with funding from the South Pacific Secretariat.
We are going via Adelaide and Melbourne to meet up with people there who support H.G.H. and the College of Nursing; we will arrive in Honiara next Tuesday. It has been lovely to see family and friends during our time at home: we are grateful for your interest and support. We claim God’s promise to Paul in 2Cor 12 9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.