Monthly Archives: February 2014

A Very Challenging Week

Graham attended a planning workshop in Honiara with the provincial directors, M.O.H. staff and representatives from the main aid donor organisations (W.H.O. and AusAID). The Cuban-trained doctors will start to arrive back in Honiara in a few months, doubling the number of doctors in the country by 2016. This is good news but is also a logistical nightmare for the M.O.H.!
Jenny had a difficult time with four in-patient deaths in as many days, the first ones this year: 2 newborn babies and 2 young adults. Malaria rates have gone down considerably over recent years but we see many patients with prolonged fevers who do not respond to antibiotics. Unfortunately with very limited laboratory facilities it is hard to make an accurate diagnosis. Most recover but this week was the exception. There is much sadness but it is generally accepted that it is the “Master’s timing”.

Back to Human Biology at the College of Nursing

Another week has flown past with Graham teaching the new first year nursing students cell biology for two days – not an easy topic for them. Jenny has had time to do some teaching on the ward rounds with 2nd year nursing students together with the 3 Australian medical students that arrived on Sunday. We have seen some more trauma this week with a young man arriving in the middle of the night with a penetrating chest injury after falling from a tree at 5 pm. He had to paddle back home and then find fuel to get to the hospital, arriving at 2 am in significant pain. This morning (Saturday) a young man arrived with facial injuries after a hit-and-run accident apparently caused by an off-duty policeman. The families are now having delicate negotiations to try to limit any retaliatory action.

Helena Goldie College of Nursing Re-opens

Life is surprisingly peaceful at present and the hospital wards are quiet. We were delighted to have Julia with us for 6 days. She is a Methodist Mission Partner returning to Fiji for her 2nd term, working on the effects of climate change and relocation of people in the Pacific region. It was the first time that we have met a fellow Methodist Mission Partner during our time here and it was good to share with her on many different levels.
Our government grant came on Monday and we were pleased to have a visit from some AusAID representatives who were keen to see whether their funding is reaching the provinces for the benefit of health care in the community. They were broadly satisfied and felt that the Solomon Islands benefits from the nurse-led system of health care that was left by the British Protectorate at independence. The nurses have been regarded as the best trained in the Pacific region. This is an encouragement to us to maintain standards as the school of nursing re-opened this week. Unfortunately a few students did not reach the required standard to enter the 2nd year, sending a strong message to those remaining and to those starting this year.