Dengue Fever Moves to the West Province

Dengue fever is still causing disruption to the health services in Honiara and we have just had the death of our first case here at Helena Goldie Hospital. A penetrating injury to the chest of a long-mouthed fish jumping into his canoe reminds us just how different practising medicine here is from general practice in the United Kingdom.

Jenny returned from Choiseul with Darity on Monday (18th) as planned. Although it initially seemed to be quiet there and the cyclone affecting the South Pacific prevented any significant sea travel for several days, we still arrived back exhausted. Emmy, the nurse in charge, was very happy to have our support, if only for a brief period. We did some education on nursing care to the nurses, and to all hospital staff on Tuberculosis.

During the second week we were able to visit some of the out-lying clinics, arriving back at Sasamunga on one day after dark, to find a worried Kaleb and his wife Lina on the beach with torches to guide us in. It was a dramatic journey with the lightening flashing & thunder crashing: fortunately we were safely back before the storm broke.

In the hospital, we managed patients with the following problems; a blunt eye injury from a catapult, appendicitis, treatment-resistant Tuberculosis and a young baby with pneumonia & heart failure. On our final day we were invited to join in the Lotu at Kaleb’s home village of Boë, followed by the traditional feeding of the preacher. It was a lovely day, but it meant that Jenny was running around afterwards making sure that all the patients to go to Gizo with us were ready for the 6am start on Monday.

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