Although the hospital is not full at this time, some very sick patients were admitted this week, including a young mother with liver failure due to chronic active hepatitis, a middle aged lady with inoperable cancer of the cervix and a young man with probable advanced leukaemia for whom there will only be limited options for treatment. The decision about whether to transfer patients to Honiara is always a difficult one, weighing the benefit to the patient against the cost which is not just financial. People prefer to go to their home island to die, often putting their faith in local kustom remedies. This dilemma was highlighted this week when the mother of one of our nurse aides was being transferred to Honiara with a bowel problem but died in the aeroplane not far from Gizo.
A very sick baby transferred here for initial resuscitation and then on to Honiara arrived safely but has been confirmed to have hydrocephalus (fluid not draining properly from around the brain) and liver problems, neither of which can be adequately treated in the Solomon Islands.
We were not affected here in the West province by the tsunami in the far east of the country, but thank you to all who expressed your concern to us. We greatly appreciate your friendship and support.