Jenny & Sally (H.G.H. theatre sister) left for Seghe on Monday morning (20th) for the medical tour and opening ceremony of the new “O.R.” at the hospital in Seghe. The operating theatre has been built with funds raised by the Marovo Medical Foundation (see web site of same name). They visit twice a year, but this will be their first combined medical and surgical tour. Sally will stay in Seghe and work in the new theatre – she was born in this lagoon (the largest salt water lagoon in the world) – so she knows the local language and customs! Jenny will join the medical & community doctors to visit villages throughout the entire lagoon over the 12 days of the tour. Jenny describes the Uepi resort as idyllic and is keen to join the tour again in November if possible.
Meanwhile Graham remains at Helena Goldie Hospital working on the male ward and in the operating theatre. We have had problems with the spinal anaesthetic solution over recent weeks, so he has been helping Dr Dina to mix our own anaesthetic and sugar solution to give into the spine, which numbs the body below the chest (hopefully). Graham then monitors the patient while Dr Dina removes the “basket for the baby” as they call it here! We have 6 hysterectomies waiting to be done, so we need to do three this week. Graham has become the regular “anaesthetist” for the major procedures in theatre.
On Tuesday evening, towards the end of the English class for the 12 nurse aides, a 16 year old girl from a local school was brought in on a stretcher. She had been found outside the Munda police station earlier in the evening shaking uncontrollably, with the suspicion that she had an evil spirit. Once inside the female ward, a nurse aide checked her vital signs and soon after that, the hospital chaplain arrived to deal with any evil spirits present. Earlier in the day, people collected at the Kokeqolo end of the runway, as they heard the sound of a different aircraft overhead. There were correct – it was an Australian Hercules trying to land. After several attempts, the plane flew away, much to the disappointment of the assembled crowd.
Thursday 23rd was the anniversary of the United (originally Methodist) church of the Solomon Islands, being the day that the pioneer missionary Rev John Goldie arrived here in Kokeqolo with his wife Helena in 1902. It is very clear that the people here remain grateful for the sacrifices made by these young missionaries from the Australian Methodist Church – hence the public holiday. In Kekehe there was a meeting of group B C.F.C. members to hear the Honourable Jobe Tausinga M.P. speak to over 300 people, all dressed in white for the occasion.