Saturday, February 21, 2009

Well, what a difference 8 1/2 inches can make (overnight)....

3pm 14th Feb with the digger on the girls island

9am Feb 15th - the digger has retreated

After 210mm of rainfall in one night, the island has almost disappeared... and the diggers have retreated for a while.

On Thursday, the morning ward round was delayed as we discussed repairing radios for all our outstations with a team put in place by the Ok Tedi Mine. A lot has happened and a lot is planned to improve things like communication, immunisation cold chain etc.

On the ward round Addy and I were thrilled to be able to say to Ad**ei that she has recovered so well, with no fever and everything working, that she can go home! Thank you for your prayers for her recovery after a nasty episode of appendicitis. We were also able to discharge the next 2 patients on the ward round!

The 4th patient E**a is an 8 year old girl who is very sick. She almost certainly has tuberculosis based on the symptoms and signs she has and the tests we have been able to do. BUT, she is getting worse, not better, despite TB treatment. We added a 5th drug to her TB regime today. She has to swallow so many tablets every day. Her parents were sure she was getting better last week after they consulted with someone to sort out any problems that may be affecting her health (ie anyone who has put a curse or caused her illness through magic). Please pray for healing, for the family at this difficult time physically and spiritually, and for God to receive the glory. Please pray that people would come to understand the freedom they can have when they turn to Jesus who can forgive our sins. Fear of magic and sorcery is such a real bondage. Yesterday I spoke on the radio to a father who wants to bring his child 150km to see us because someone has done magic to his son. The same day, there was a request to hire the hospital ambulance to take a dead body to another village because if it was buried in the village where she lived, the other village would charge them K20,000 compensation ($11,500). It is a very big part of day to day life as health workers in PNG to be dealing with issues related to magic, sorcery, fear of the dead and other spirits, false beliefs about wealth coming from graves etc. Please pray for all our health workers (including doctors!!) and for the church as we try to address some of these issues.

Addy finished the busy wardround herself Thursday while I travelled to Kiunga. Every 2nd Thursday we now do ultrasound scans at Kiunga hospital. 11 patients were able to have an ultrasound scan. It is a great opportunity to teach the staff, provide a useful service, and intervene in the management of patients who might otherwise turn up unannounced with bigger problems. It is also a chance to support the doctors now working at Kiunga - Sr Joseph (hospital) and Dr Charlie (OTML). Kiunga has had no doctors for 13 years, except for very short times. Kiunga is a very large town. Now is a great time for us to all work together to build up Kiunga hospital to as good a standard as possible.

When I thought I had finished scanning and ready to drive home, I was presented with a lady in labour. The baby was breech and she was having some difficulty. Along with the ultrasound machine, quite a few boxes of medicines, my shopping, a 44gallon drum of fuel, 2 other patients and 1 staff, this lady (and her 3 relatives) piled into the Hilux and came along with us to Rumginae. It was a very big baby, too big to come the usual way, and it had started to come feet first. At 1030pm I finally got home after Addy and I delivered the baby by Caesarian section. It is a big, healthy boy.

There are many other patients on the ward who need your prayers. Please pray also for our supplies problems - the fuel is running out too fast because the only generator that works is the really really big one. We have needed it on overnight for oxygen using even more fuel.

Dedication of new Mitsubishi Fuso

On Friday, I missed most of the ceremony - being busy in the operating theatre - but just got out in time to see the ribbon being cut during the dedication service for the new truck. The local community, hospital, church all came together to praise God for the way He provides for us and to dedicate the truck and indeed ourselves and all that we use to serve Him this year.

New group of CHW students at front of church

Lastly, speaking of dedications. On Sunday, we welcomed a new batch of Community Health Worker students to Rumginae. They come from many different parts of PNG. They come from many different religious backgrounds. We are looking forward to getting to know them, working with them, mentoring them and helping as much as we can over the next 2 years of their course. Please pray for this group of 30 young men and women.

God Bless

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

Down the creek, upside down, floating away and definitely without a paddle

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