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Our volunteers in Papua New Guinea

Our volunteers in Papua New Guinea

PMM volunteers Michał Tracz, a pharmacist, and Paweł Pudełko, a urologist, are in their third week in Papua New Guinea. Michał gives a coverage of the consecutive days of work:

It has been another week of work in PNG within the PMM project. This week was marked by work at facilities far away from Mendi and in Mendi itself. Early in the morning on Sunday 9th April we set off for a five-hour journey to Qutubu, approx. 130 km away from Mendi. We arrived just before dusk. From the morning next day, after the holy mass, which was celebrated by Father Marek, we went to the ‘haus sik’ (hospital) where we were greeted by sister Lucy and quite a large crowd of people. Patients and their families patiently waited for their turn to see the doctor. We consulted ca. 110 patients: Dr Paweł Pudełko – urological cases, patients with venereal diseases; and myself, within pharmaceutical care: the rest of cases, including joint pains, bone pains and some minor ailments. We finished work after dark with flashlights.

The next day, after crossing the lake in the company of Martin, Lucy, Ben and Moses, we reached the village of Inu. The hospital here does not belong to the Catholic Church; it is a public institution. To our astonishment, we found lots of essential medicines there.

It can be said that in Papua New Guinea you can always rely on two things – rain and crowds of patients. Within the scheme already worked out, i.e. doctor for severe cases, pharmacist for minor ailments, we consulted ca. 70 patients in Inu. On Wednesday we set off on the return journey to Mendi with a stopover at the village of Tamenda. Here, in a square bathed in the tropical sun, over 100 people had been waiting for us, patients and their families. We consulted ca. 70 people. We arrived in Mendi late in the evening on Wednesday.

On Thursday we went to Buyebi, ca. 30 minutes from Mendi, where unfortunately the information on our planned visit was not received, and there were no patients. So we caught up with some other obligations. On the next day we travelled to Hapi Anda in Mendi, i.e. the local medical centre run by the diocese in Mendi. Here Paweł could at last spread his wings as we were met by selected urological patients and patients with skin lesions to be removed. At 7.30 pm on Friday, Paweł was still operating, and two cases for operation were rescheduled for Saturday. He consulted at least 30 patients. I received 23 patients whom I was able to help.