Monthly Archives: January 2014

Back to the West Province with the Prime Minister

Life continues to surprise us: Graham has been to Honiara and back since our last blog. He escorted a 10 year old girl with depressed fracture of her skull after her brother landed on her having jumped from a tree into the fresh-water pool. They have great fun swinging and jumping from the overhanging branches, but she was just unlucky to be in the wrong place. He came back on the aeroplane with the Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo. Jenny was kept busy in maternity with the sick newborn babies, one of which also required transfer to Honiara with probable bowel malformation as it was unable to feed or even to swallow its own saliva.
As the hospital grant has not yet been paid this year and there is no money in the hospital bank accounts, we were grateful for some assistance from the M.P. for transfer costs. Our plight was heard and a local man came to our aid with cash and bags of rice for the staff, whilst the M.P. donated 2 weeks wages for the staff. The good news is that there is a promise of more money from the Ministry of Health which would certainly help us to clear the debt, if it arrives. It remains one of our aims, to leave the hospital debt free by the end of the year! We do now have water in the hospital taps 24 hours a day thanks to the efforts of our Australian Youth Ambassador Jake. Water to the hospital staff remains rationed, but they do all have water tanks. A reliable supply of water to the hospital is another of our ambitions for Helena Goldie – there are many more!

Three babies in Distress

Last week we missed our blog post as we are adjusting to life here without Drs Dina & Zotei. We are inevitably busier! Jenny is kept busy covering the wards now whilst Graham is splitting his time between out-patients, operating theatre and administration. Jenny was also involved with the Academic Committee for the college which met twice this week to review the performance of the students hoping to return for their second year. This made for some difficult situations. Maternity is also proving to be a challenge with three babies showing signs of distress before birth and all needed resuscitation just after delivery. All have survived so far but they are still a cause for concern and needed treatment for infection. Jenny is grateful for the skill of the midwives to help in these situations. A shortage of supplies including the smallest size of cannulas for the babies adds to the difficulties. Also the government grant is delayed again so with no money in the hospital bank account, the staff have not been paid this week. We pray that the funds will arrive soon.

Happy New Year 2014

New Year 2014 – it is all change here at Helena Goldie Hospital. Dr Dina led our watch-night service for the last time: he, Dr Zotei and their 2 younger children left for Honiara on 2nd January. Tears were shed as a good number of people collected at the airport terminal to see them off after 11 years. The Ministry of Health here still hopes to persuade them to stay on in Honiara at the National Referral Hospital, but they have a posting back home in India, so they continue to seek God’s guidance for their future.
Our Director of Nursing Chris Leve officially finished on 31st December but had a rather unexpected departure the day before as a nurse escort to an aggressive psychiatric patient who was hand-cuffed to his police escort for the aeroplane journey to Honiara. Chris is moving to a ministry appointment in Gizo: we wish him well.
So we are now managing the hospital. Please pray for us as we try to look after the patients and find a new way forward.