Back to Choiseul for a Three Week Medical Tour

Jenny left for Taro on the 7-15am flight in the 9-seater Island Hopper . She spent two days in Taro before leaving for the “ultra-remote” north coast of the island. There were two patients with orthopaedic problems that were discussed over the mobile telephone before being sent to Honiara. One of these was an open supra-condylar fracture (of elbow) in a child that had fallen several days previously.

On Tuesday she had reached Sirivanga, a Roman Catholic mission station where she was invited to join the evening Lotu. Beyond this village, mobile signal is intermittent at best, but she is expected back in Taro this weekend.

Meanwhile, Graham has been working with Dr Zotei as Dr Dina has been in Honiara for a workshop. Graham spent Monday evening at Davinia Taylor Hall, invigilating the University of the South Pacific basic mathematics examination for 10 Helena Goldie Hospital nurse aides. On Tuesday evening many of us were back in the same hall for a farewell feast for the nurses visiting from the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. They worked mainly in the college on this visit, so the college staff and students were hosts on this occasion. They brought equipment, batteries, pens and many other useful items; some were edible! They will be back in April for graduation of the current 3rd year students.

Wednesday was a disturbed night on the general ward with an older lady admitted with an exacerbation of asthma. As she failed to respond to nebulised Salbutamol, she was treated with intra-venous Aminophylline, which helped to solve the problem. Yesterday morning (Friday) was interrupted with an emergency – a 29 year old man suffered a severe head injury from the propeller of his out-board motor and was dead on arrival at the hospital. His body was taken back to Noro before being taken to his home island – Malaita.

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