From Drought to Flood

From distributing water bottles after 10 days without rain, we were woken by the most dramatic tropical storm on Thursday night and news of flooding in Honiara. An old bridge collapsed, homes were destroyed, the airport flooded and some loss of life. Migration of people to the “big city” especially from Malaita Province with problems of land ownership has led to overcrowding in poor housing built on steep slopes and most of this has now been washed away. We hope that this will not lead to renewed tensions.
We were fortunate to have a visit from Rev Prince from the New Zealand Methodist Church accompanied by Rev Jay from the South Korean Methodist Church. They arrived before the storm and left to visit Sasmunga Hospital on Wednesday afternoon before the storm. The church in New Zealand continues to provide support for Helena Goldie Hospital and College of Nursing as well as Sasamunga Hospital. The inclement weather prevented the arrival of our new Director of Nursing from Choiseul, so we hope that Prince and Jay made it to Sasamunga.
As the airport in Honiara is currently closed due to flooding, their departure may be delayed and we are currently unable to transfer one of our nursing students suffering from a bowel obstruction. Fortunately she is stable with medical management. We did manage to transfer a patient earlier in the week with an elbow injury. He was attacked with a spear in mid-March and suddenly developed numbness down his forearm over 2 weeks later. It seems likely that he developed a problem with his artery at the elbow due to the original injury.

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