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21 May 2014


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My son Thomas Andrew Webster was born in Popondetta in 1973, as were Rebecca Fraser, Selma Hassan and two other expat babies around that time.

There was an Australian doctor, but no PNG midwives. I was a midwife who had worked in PNG prior to being married, and my next door neighbour was an English midwife.

I had no intention of giving birth in what was a very unhygienic concrete building with the sewage overflowing onto the floor. However, it was in the night, and he was delivered also six weeks premature.

I was able to look after his feeding etc but he had to be flown to Port Moresby for neonatal respiratory lung distress - common in premature babies.

Things might have improved by 1980, but white babies were born when the hospital was not the place by choice.

Governor Garry Juffa - I was interested in your response to my comments on the Popondetta Hospital. I appreciate that you are faced with an extremely difficult task and that slowly but surely there are funds becoming available.

The efforts being made to repair and build infrastructure, plus health programs, college and children's hospital are certainly encouraging. However what I find really encouraging are your last two sentences.

Of course progress will be slow but with solid and honest leadership the outcomes will be good. Well done and both my wife, Marian and I wish you every success in your determination to succeed in your goals and role as Governor.

Actually positive changes are occurring...slowly but surely.

We have a strategy to improve services and save lives and we are doing that, perhaps too late - only in the last year or so but there are positive efforts.

There is now more funding to health programs, there is effort to repair and build infrastructure and there is effort to increase training and capacity.

Education and awareness efforts are also being made and so is the effort to bring in volunteers and do much. A children's hospital is being built, a college is being funded, more training programs and so forth.

There is still lots to be done but let us also acknowledge what is being done. It suits some to constantly whine and point out that poor brown people in PNG need saving but we are not all waiting with cap in one hand and the other outstretched begging.

Some of us are moving and doing with friends and others who care.
Governor Oro

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