Another day at the clinic

Monday 31st July 2017
Liro, Paama Island

The medical team were off to shore and on the job at Liro on Paama Island at eight this morning. Liro is a very pretty village of approximately 500 people and today was the public holiday in recognition of Vanuatu Independence Day. The local people have a plot of land of approximately 7.5 acres some distance up the mountain from the village that they make their living from. They are very welcoming and appear to be a very happy lot. Mark and I had a game of volley ball with a few of the youth when we went for a walk this afternoon.

The day turned out to be very busy for all. Dr Nicholas the general practitioner attended to 49 clients. Sadly one client was found to have Parkinsons, and there is not much that can be done for him in these primitive circumstances. A more amusing case was the 80 year old lady who’s blood pressure was through the roof. Nic then learnt that she had walked from the other side of the island over the mountain to see the doctor. She was asked to have a rest for an hour then come back.

David the team optometrist has found many eye problems and unfortunately has run out of a number of the common reading spectacles, actually its probably common weaving spectacles. Glasses make such a difference to their life.

I saw a 12 year girl have a tooth removed by Dr Barry. It was a moving experience for me. This poor little girl had her injection and you could see just how frightened she was. I should add that she asked for it to be removed as the pain was so bad and I’m told it was almost totally rotten. She sat in the chair on the veranda where Barry was operating with the villagers standing around watching while waiting for the injection to work. Barry very gently talked to her in Bislama and I could see he was doing the difficult job in a very caring, gentle way putting his many years of expertise to work. The poor little girl didn’t utter a sound but I could see the tears, very brave.

It was also interesting to see how proficient Todd one of our sailing crew has become in recording for the national oral health survey. He has developed into being a great help to the medical team.

The day was so busy that the team has organised for the clinic be continued in the morning. A great experience to see the wonderful things the team are doing for the Vanuatu people.

Still no internet, still no photos, hope the world is still out there.

Fair winds, smooth seas and another day at the clinic.

Phil Wicks


Paama Island – Video clip
Highlights of tourism on Paama Island in the Central province MALAMPA Vanuatu
Landing at Paama airstrip – Vanuatu
(Just hope the camera was dash-mounted, NOT held by pilot in spare hand)
Please excuse the music
Welcome to Paama

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