Wednesday 4 September 2013

Understanding  patient complaints and explaining treatments is made much easier here because of the great community spirit and cooperation.

And as in Australia, men are often helped by their wives.

Doctor to male patient: ‘Any other sickness?’

Male patient shaking head: ‘No.’

Wife to husband: ‘Tell the doctor about your crook back!’ (Or, locally ..’Yu tellim docta bad bak bilong yu!

Being new to the team, I found myself wandering aimlessly around mid morning. Fortunately nurse Ruth was quick to diagnose his blood muesli bar level falling dangerously low. Two units infused by mouth had immediate effect.

While conducting the clinic we noted the generosity and futility of aid given. Three large water tanks given by an NGO sat empty in spite of excellent rainfall. All three had taps that leaked; fortunately this meant that they were empty and not breeding mosquitoes as mesh was missing from the inlet and overflow pipes. With one the roof guttering had as well. Fortunately the sailing crew used the plumbing department of Chimere to rectify the situation. At the same time steps were repaired and rusty roof screws steel brushed and painted by the village men with roof paint we had on board for another island.

Each day is full of new experiences and encounters  big and small.

New cub-reporter – Dr D.