Without Graham at my side to negotiate the unpredictable internet, I have struggled to keep up with the blog. It has, however, been a truly amazing and memorable trip. I can only thank God for enabling me to come once more.
My visit to Sasamunga for 2 weeks was a delight, the development under Rev Kotali quite outstanding with a newly refurbished hospital completed in 7 months. They also have a new Xray machine and scan with a radiographer and are well prepared to receive a doctor once the newly Cuban trained ones are ready to go to the peripheral hospitals. I had a busy 2 weeks and was overwhelmed by their warmth and welcome to me.
Back at Munda, the new doctor arrived and what a blessing he is. Conscientious, knowledgeable and skilful after 9 years in PNG, it was a relief to have him there for 2 obstetric emergencies. The first was a hand presentation in a 2nd undiagnosed twin, which he managed to deliver vaginally after quite a struggle. The baby survived and has already gone home with mother and twin 1. The 2nd emergency was a shocked bleeding antenatal lady, who turned out to have a molar pregnancy. The conception never develops into a baby and it is a precursor for malignancy. After 5 litres of fluid, 4 units of blood and a suction aspiration of the molar pregnancy, she has made a good recovery.
The wards and outpatients have been busy and we were pleased to work together. The hospital is busier again, now people know there is a doctor there. As he also plans to do surgery, if happy with the theatre, I just hope he doesn’t get burnt out.
Another highlight was the 3rd nursing college graduation, with 11 nurses receiving their diplomas. The college is still struggling to get its re-accreditation in order to take a new intake next year. The Uniting care team were able to complete the new lab as required, but a new office, classroom and accommodation are still urgently required. It was a happy occasion and the college remains very grateful for all the support received from Uniting Care, Australia.
Having come and gone so many times, I did not expect any farewell, but Melanesian hospitality would not allow me to slip away quietly and I have felt quite overwhelmed. Knowing that I may not return has made the leaving of this community that has taken me to their heart, a very emotional one. I am so grateful to the UK Methodist Church, the United Church of the Solomon Islands and my family at home and in the Solomon Islands for allowing me this adventure.
To God be the glory, great things he has done.
If anyone wants to support the HGH hospital and college or Sasamunga hospital, a charity has been established by previous mission partners. It is called Agape Link (Solomon Islands- UK) and any donations can be gift aided through it. HGH wishes to build a separate TB ward, as the general ward corridor is now overflowing and the children with Tb are just in the general paediatric ward. The college is in urgent need of new buildings in order to continue to train the much needed nurses. Sasamunga still hopes to build a small rehabilitation and physiotherapy unit. If you wish to make a one off or regular donation, please contact Dr Graham or DrJenny.
Thank you to all who have read the blog and supported us in this venture. I will try to update you with news as I can.