Jenny returned to Munda by canoe – a rather trying five hour journey over open sea. She had had a successful time in Choiseul, spending the first two days in Taro and then moving south to Sasamunga. The senior staff in Taro have asked her to return in September to tour the north east side of the island in the absence of a permanent medical officer.
The hospital at Sasamunga is developing well with Caleb Kotali as Hospital Secretary. They hope to receive a substantial grant from the Solomon island Government to allow the virtual rebuilding of the main part of the hospital. The U.K. and N.Z. Methodist Churches are funding a new solar power system for the hospital.
Graham was expecting to travel to Honiara on Tuesday for a 2 day meeting at the Ministry of Health, but instead he escorted a child with two broken arms and two crew members from a Vietnamese fishing vessel. All three are now recovering in the National Referral Hospital in Honiara. As the two day meeting was postponed for a week, Graham will stay on in Honiara for that, as well as trying to renew work and residency permits for the next two years. Drs Dina & Zotei have gone to Fiji for a C.W.M. mission partner conference, leaving Jenny in sole charge at Helena Goldie Hospital, with the help of four U.K. medical students
Jenny remains in Choiseul at Sasamunga Hospital, allowing the mid-wife in charge there to have a rest and also to do some touring along the coast. Jenny apparently led the Sunday morning service at the United Church in Sasamunga. She has also been seeing patients at the hospital and doing some half-day tours. On Tuesday she saw a young child with a partially ampWest Provincial Health Conference 2013 Jenny remains in Choiseul at Sasamunga Hospital, allowing the mid-wife in charge there to have a rest and also to do some touring along the coast. Jenny apparently led the Sunday morning service at the United Church in Sasamunga. She has also been seeing patients at the hospital and doing some half-day tours. On Tuesday she saw a young child with a partially amputated thumb as a result of a bush-knife injury. Graham was unexpectedly invited to the second West Provincial Health Conference, held in Gizo. The first conference was apparently in 2010, but it may become an annual event. Almost 40 hospital and provincial employees have been present for the four day meeting. Graham did not arrive until Monday lunch-time due to lack of transport and rough seas (the airport at Gizo is closed for resurfacing of the runway). The first two days were taken up with presentations from the various hospital departments and from the 5 regions of the West Province, followed by a presentation on the situation at Helena Goldie Hospital and College of Nursing, Seghe and Sasamunga Hospitals and Vonunu clinic. On Wednesday and Thursday there were discussions on the budget and the Operational Plan for 2014 for the two main hospitals in the province.
Jenny nearly missed her flight to Taro in the 9 seat aeroplane Island Hopper on Monday morning as it left early! She apparently arrived there safely and was able to spend 2 days seeing patients there, which was much appreciated after over a year without a doctor in the province which is home to over 25,000 people. On Wednesday she moved down the coast to Sasamunga where she will stay to work at the hospital there while the nurse in charge has a short break; she will also use the opportunity to go out touring. Development of the hospital continues there with a large grant for renovation from the Solomon Island Government. We hope that the imaging department and medical laboratory will be fully functional later this year.
Back at Helena Goldie Hospital, a 26 year old man arrived after a difficult canoe journey in the dark from Paradise (north New Georgia). It seemed likely that he had cerebral malaria so he was treated with intra-venous Chloramphenicol and Artesunate as well as Diazepam for his convulsions and Hydrallazine for raised blood pressure. He is slowly improving with this treatment and is now talking to his father who remains at his bedside. On Wednesday an elderly man was admitted with a coma as a result of him stopping his medication for diabetes. He is now much improved and back on his usual medication. On Thursday one of the patients on the ward dislocated his jaw. We managed to put this right using intravenous Diazepam but he remains very poorly.
Our chaplain returned from Fiji this week after attending a 3 week course in peace building and reconciliation. With high rates of domestic violence in a culture where men are very much in the dominant position we are being challenged to think creatively about how to address this problem. Please pray for this work which is hard to address with so many other pressing needs.
Today is Independence Day, celebrating 35 years as a sovereign nation within the Commonwealth. There is much to celebrate but many challenges.