Monthly Archives: November 2014

General Election 2014

In the run up to the election, we had a 7 year old boy admitted on Saturday afternoon following a fall from a coconut tree the same morning. There was some delay with transport to Helena Goldie but he was unconscious on admission at about 3 pm. X-rays confirmed an occipital skull fracture: he had a fixed dilated pupil on the right side. We requested a helicopter transfer, but the cost of this combined with the remaining hours of daylight prevented this. He stopped breathing at 8pm and we were unable to resuscitate him. His parents accepted the situation without complaint, simply asking for our help to transfer the body to Isabel Province the following morning.
The election has been peaceful this year with most M.P.’s being returned. The biggest shock was that of the P.M. losing his Gizo/Kolumbangara seat, and according to rumour, being admitted to Gizo Hospital. The situation was apparently very tense in Gizo, with riot police on the streets and church representatives calling for restraint, including the United Church Moderator Wilfred Kirupitu. The M.P. for North New Georgia, Job Dudley Tausinga, also lost after about 30 years in Parliament. There seems to be some Christian Fellowship Church issue here, but details are few at present. The hospital has been quieter during the last week, but we have had a visit from Dr Michael (London School of Tropical Medicine) and his team to follow up on the Yaws survey. We also have a small team of Rotarians from Rockhampton & Mackay in Queensland who will renovate the canoe shed and do some other jobs as time allows.

Farewell to Dr Eric Pana

The Ministry of Health organised a short workshop in Honiara during the last week of October. Soraya (Hospital Secretary) and Graham were invited to attend this meeting. The topic was the cost of running health care facilities around the country, with discussion on a study done on this by a team from Monash University in Melbourne. One of the aims was to look at savings could be made by increasing efficiency at hospitals, area health centres and nurse aide posts. It seems likely that financial assistance for health care from Australia will reduce over the next few years, at a time when costs will increase, especially as the Solomon Island Health Service moves towards a doctor-led service and nurse aides are increasingly being replaced with registered nurses.

Jenny continued to work with Dr Eric Pana at Helena Goldie. He was able to spend time with his relatives in the area as well as working at the hospital. He finished work on Monday afternoon to prepare for his return to Australia, spending a few days in Honiara on his way. We are very grateful for his help as previously and we hope that he will be able to return to work at the hospital in a similar way in the future.