John wrote this open letter to prime minister Peter O’Neill to illustrate the plight of women suffering from cancer. I understand the prime minister doesn’t waste his time on social media. In fact, many in parliament don’t. We all have people we have lost to cancer. Many are mothers and children taken in their prime. It’s a grim reality many families face today – Gary Juffa
PORT MORESBY – Dear prime minister, greetings to you and your cabinet. This morning (Monday 23 October), I visited the cancer ward at Port Moresby General Hospital at 1.13 am.
The purpose of my visit was to see and feel the life in this ward. Hon prime minister, the first feeling that engulfed me as soon as I opened the door was similar to walking into a morgue.
There was no life in this building except for the light from fluorescent tubes. I will bring to you the realities of this place.
Hon prime minister, if you stand where I stood, you will see a stretch of corridor. If you look to your left and right, you will see curtains hanging lifelessly on the doors. I believe you would vividly know what is behind those curtains.
If you peep through those curtains you will see our mothers, wives and sisters awaiting their deaths. Looking at their lifeless faces, you see Death is inevitable. They expect it to come to them at any moment.
There are about 36 innocent patients awaiting their death. Their cancer has reached Stage 3 which requires radio therapy to cure. There is hope in the dimness of their faces - if only they are able to secure K60,000 for radio therapy treatment overseas.
However, from my brief interview, none of them can afford that money. This they just pray with hope that there could be a miracle.
Hon prime minister, these women have no choices in life. Hon prime minister, cancer is curable at our doorstep if only we had these treatments available.
The obvious questions are who and why. Who is to provide this treatment for these innocent mothers? If there is someone to provide it, why is it not provided?
Hon prime minister, Papua New Guinea is hosting APEC in a couple of weeks’ time. We talk and walk luxuries from the floor of parliament to APEC Haus and into the settlements. We are forking out millions of kina from the bags and bilums of these suffering mothers, who are on death row, to fly in, all the way from the other side of the world, luxury cars costing millions of kina – Maseratis and Bentleys to be used for only three days.
Hon prime minister, it’s because of our mere ignorance that these innocents are suffering. This is just one hospital I am referring to but let us project it to the entire country. I believe there are hundreds or thousands of people suffering nationwide. Do we have a remedy for them or do we just let them perish where they are?
We are very capable of combatting cancer but our ignorance and negligence destroys innocent lives. I fear the Good Lord will hold us accountable for our deeds.
Therefore Hon prime minister, please can we just sell two of the 40 Maseratis after APEC and buy radio therapy equipment for our mothers, wives and sisters? I believe this approach would be taken by the men and their sons to save their mothers, sisters and wives.
Tomorrow it could be our mothers, wives and daughters who might face the same fiasco.
Hon prime minister, please do something to save the mothers of this great nation.
Thank you, may the Lord God bless you and guide your intuition to make good judgements for our backbones – the womenfolk.