The 2013 May Marovo Medical Tour – Week Two

Jenny enjoyed a relaxing weekend with the team at Uepi resort – time to go paddling or scuba diving in the lagoon and enjoy the seafood restaurant! They have apparently done a total thyroidectomy as an elective procedure in the new operating theatre and a man came in on Friday (24th) with a bush knife laceration from his elbow to his wrist, including some severed tendons.  Fortunately the senior surgeon from Honiara was able to sort him out.

Back at H.G.H., a man from the nearby village of Kindu was out fishing on Friday evening and was attacked by a shark. Two of his fingers were badly damaged, so Graham was on general ward suturing the lacerations at 1 am (Saturday). Otherwise the hospital is quiet with our three ladies recovering from their hysterectomies. We also have a local U.C.S.I. minister admitted with Dengue Fever and low platelets (36 – the normal being 150 to 400). He is at risk of bleeding so he may need a blood transfusion. On Tuesday a lady arrived from an electrical company in Honiara with a complete solar power system for the new eye unit. Hopefully this will be fitted over the next few days, ready for the official opening on Monday 24th June. On the same day we attempted the last in the current series of hysterectomies, but we had to abandon the procedure as the uterus was firmly attached to bowel, so continuing with the procedure was too risky.

Jenny returned on the Friday afternoon flight, landing at Kokeqolo airport just after 4 pm, having had 12 amazing days in the Marovo Lagoon with the American led medical team. This was their  10th trip to the lagoon and was the realisation of a dream that Suzanne had after visiting Seghe clinic at the end of a diving holiday in 2006. She and her husband Alan committed themselves to improving health care to the people of the lagoon and after supplying an excellent solar power system, they were able to work on the operating theatre which was opened and used for the first time on this tour. It was exciting to be there at the beginning with Sally, the Helena Goldie Hospital theatre sister, who worked with the surgical team from Australia, the Solomon Islands and the U.S.A. Jenny was part of the medical team visiting the remote villages and returning in the evenings to stay in the beautiful Uepi resort, run by Grant and Jill Kelly. Their son Jason has been instrumental in this project and the support from Uepi has guaranteed its success. It was a very different type of touring for Jenny, with a chance to relax in the evenings and the middle weekend. The diving is apparently first class and the snorkelling that she did opened up a world of beautiful corals and tropical fish. It was a joy to share medical knowledge and expertise with such a lovely group of people and to learn from them too.  Hopefully this will be an ongoing relationship.

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