On 28 May 1964 the ninth and last weekly issue of the Kundiawa News was produced. There being no announcement that the newsletter would in future appear each fortnight, I assume this was a last-minute decision. The publication had by now progressed beyond the jokey diversion that had marked its beginnings two months before and, in addition to offering a humorous take on local events, it was intent on providing serious information to readers.
NEW CRIB ‘UNDOUBTED ASSET TO WORK’
Last Friday night the new humidicrib was presented to Medical officer, Dr T Murrell, by organiser of the campaign to buy the crib, Mr G Dick. The humidicrib, valued at £160 [$4,000 in today's money], was purchased at half price through the generosity of the dealer. It is the first humidicrib in the Chimbu area, and the first in any sub-district in the Territory. It will serve an area which has a 9% mortality rate of premature babies.
Bought by donations from Chimbu Local Government Councils and local European groups and individuals, the purchase of such an urgently needed item of equipment is an achievement for such a small community as this. The humidicrib is similar to those used by the flying doctor service in Australia and can run off any power source from a four volt battery to a 240 volt domestic system.
At the presentation Dr Murrell said, “Undoubtedly this new humidicrib will be an asset to our work here.” He thanked those people concerned in the appeal for their support. The Editor of the ‘Kundiawa News’ congratulates all those concerned in this great community service.
CRIB HAS LIFE-SAVING MISSION
With 48 hours of its presentation, the new humidicrib was sued in the life-saving job of keeping resuscitated two of premature triplets born to a Native woman last Sunday. The third triplet was stillborn. The baby that dies weighed 3 lb 2 oz; the other two, on Monday, weighed 3 lb 7 oz and 3 lb 10 oz. Without the humidicrib all three babies, if all were born alive, might have died within a few hours of birth.
A hospital spokesman said that the babies would be in the crib for a few days. He stated that the crib was now on battery power because of the intermittent nature of our own power system. It is heartening that the first use of the crib should have been in such an emergency as this.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
From E R Male, Regional Supervisor, Malaria Service
About two weeks ago the Regional vehicle had to go to Minj and had a flat [tyre] before it left. The officer in charge of the vehicle obtained a spare wheel from Transport that was not the correct size. On my return I requested the Transport Officer for my own spare, only to find it was on a DNA [Department of Native Affairs] vehicle.
As my vehicle had a lot of running to do, I requested a good spare, which my driver was instructed to collect from the Officer in Charge at Transport. This he did, and I did not know where the spare came from until I was informed by the OIC Transport, who had given it to the driver.
All I can say is I apologise if the Infant Welfare Sisters were inconvenienced but it was through no fault of my own. I would lay the blame on the driver who went out without a spare, and the officer in charge of the vehicle who failed to check the same.
PERSONAL PARS WITH MURRAY BLADWELL
Sporting a tennis elbow is well-known local identity and elbow-bender (strictly tennis), John Jones. Said John when interviewed at his bedside, “½%?@£&%?;:&£@”. Well we hope it’s better soon John (the language I mean).
As proud as the mother herself is Sister Chris Koucmeneides, who is like a clucky hen with a new brood. Chris, who is leaving us at the end of this week for Goroka, has done a wonderful job looking after the remaining two triplets aided by the newly-acquired incubator – oops, sorry – humidicrib. Says Chris, “I’m so impressed with the job it does I’m going to buy myself a rotissory [sic] for Christmas.