Sunday, March 14, 2010
I am pleased to let you know that we have enough funding to fly the dermatologist to Bougainville. Furthermore, the Director of Medical Services at Buka General Hospital has just informed me that they want him here for two weeks, during which time the dermatologist will see patients in Buka, Arawa and Buin.
So, my next job is to get in touch with Alvin and have him here on the 9th of April as the D is arriving on the 10th. The goal is in sight.
Thanks for your support :)
Last year I posted an article about the WWII munitions still present and put to use in Bougainville. They remain a hazard to locals, with some using them as weapons and others using the gun powder to create bombs for killing fish. Sometimes there are tragic consequences…
An American WWII mortar bomb exploded two weeks ago in the southern district of Torokina, taking the left leg and hand of Sylvester Minel. The story was captured by Gorethy Kenneth in the Post Courier on Wednesday 10 March. I will quote her directly:
"Eye witnesses told this reporter in Buka that Sylvester … was 'playing around' with the live mortar bomb when it went off blasting his legs into pieces and cutting off his arms.
He is in critical condition at the Buka General Hospital after being rushed to the hospital on a motorised dinghy from Torokina.
His leg was amputated as it was badly damaged and beyond construction while his right leg had an iron rod inserted to support the bones."
A local constable was quoted as saying that Sylvester was hitting the live mortar with a hammer and chisel to remove the bomb's fuse and powder. The intention was then to turn that into dynamite to blast fish in the ocean for an easy catch. The constable goes on to say that this "is now a practice young people in the area are obsessed with."
My grandfather was responsible for managing munitions stores in Italy during WWII. I wonder what he would make of all this.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Spoke to a government official about Alvin's plight and he said "why don't you fly the dermatologist to Bougainville?"
Spoke to Director of Medical Services at Buka General Hospital. Turns out the dermatologist working in Port Moresby's public hospital (at least I think that's where he works; they have several private hospitals over there) is married to a Bougainvillean, and he is keen to come over. Furthermore, he wants us to organise a week's worth of appointments for him so that Bougainvilleans get a decent chance to see him while he is in Buka.
Seems like good value for money to me. Am still looking into things so will let you know how it goes.