THE MOSTLY quiet corner of Kundiawa town that is home to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital last week came alive with the beating of kundus, singing and dancing as over 3,000 people celebrated its second open day.
The event marked the hospital’s proud track record of community service and development in both its clinical and non-clinical areas under the management of CEO Mathew Kaluvia (in suit).
The activities took place in the outpatient area in which each unit of the hospital had its own stall where staff conducted displays and exhibitions.
The crowd was eager and amazed at some of the displays, especially weird looking surgical tools they had never imagined before. ‘This is just amazing,” said Jane, a guardian from Jiwaka Province.
Certain hospital units provided free medical examinations - taking temperatures, measuring blood pressure, checking weights and so forth.
Radio Simbu, which previously had been off air for four months due to technical problems, had a field day broadcasting live the whole event.
Mathew Kaluvia said the idea behind the event was for staff to show the public the kind of services the hospital provides and the changes that had taken place since the first open day four years ago.
Many changes and new development had taken place, he said, and it was important for the public to know about these.
“We are accountable to the national government and the people of Simbu to give the hospital’s status report,” he said with a smile on his face. “And we are providing that to the people today.”
In what appeared to be a farewell speech, Kaluvia thanked all the unit managers and staff ,starting with Dr Jan Jaworski and the surgical team, for their undivided support and cooperation in delivering clinical and curative health services during his tenure as CEO.
Simbu principal provincial health advisor Margret Kaile said the current management of Mr Kaluvia and the board headed by Fr Luke Kewani had proven to be a great team with strong vision. Many beneficial changes had taken place at the hospital during their term of office, she said.
Apart from management and board, other units also contributed to the success of the hospital. Sixty-five year old Joe Daugl of Kond outside Kundiawa had this to say: “Kundiawa hausik em nambawan tru. Ol ners na dokta i wok hat tru na wok bilong ol i gutpla stret. Mi man Simbu na mi hamamas long hausik bilong mi”(Kundiawa hospital is the best. The nurses and doctors work really hard and their services are excellent. I am a Simbu man and I am proud of my hospital).
Parkop Chandrol, 53, from Rambutso Island in Manus Province travelled all the way from Lorengau to Kundiawa six weeks ago seeking treatment for Pots Disease, had this to say: “Mi harim yet long Manus olsem Kundiawa hausik i save oraitim ol man na meri bun baksait blong ol TB binatang i kaikaim na paralaisim ol. Olsem na wantaim halivim bilong ol pikinini bilong mi, mipla i kisim balus igo long Madang na haiarim wanpla kar na kam kamap long Kundiawa” (I heard way off in Manus that Kundiawa hospital heals men and women whose backbone TB bacteria had destroyed and paralysed them. That’s why with the assistance of my children, we flew to Madang and hired a motor vehicle to bring me to Kundiawa).
“Olo man, nambawan taim mi kam kamap mi ting em wanpela hotel tasol mi kirap nogut taim ol i tokim mi em hausik. Nogat smel blong marasin na ples i klin na nais stret” (Man, when I first arrived I thought it was a hotel and I was surprised to be told it is the hospital. There is no smell of medicine and the place looks clean and nice).
“Waitman dokta i tok em bai opereitim bun baksait bilong mi na mi amamas stap. Manus i nogat kain opereisen olsem” (The European doctor [Dr Jan Jaworski] said he is going to operate on my backbone and I am happily waiting. Manus does not operate on such sickness).
Parkop’s story is not an isolated case. The hospital receives patients from all over PNG including the highlands and places as far away as New Ireland, Western and East Sepik provinces and even Port Moresby.
The major developments that took place under the current management and board included security, a warehouse, a doctors’ office block, a hospital records building, the administration building, a multi-drug resistant tuberculosis unit and TB clinic.
The MDR TB unit and CEO’s administration block were officially opened at the event. An additional operating theatre is under construction and will be commissioned soon.
The whole event ended with light refreshments for everyone provided by the hospital.