Posts Categorized: Health

Buka town improving aesthetically

By Ishmael Palipal


Starting with the upgrade of the drainage system in January of 2015, the current Bougainville capital of Buka has been gradually improving aesthetically. The drainage system has meant adequate waterways and residential areas during the rainy seasons.

The upgrade and the sealing of the roads and streets in the town added have also added to the polished look. Dekenai Construction did the honors of sealing the once dusty or muddy roads of the town in a project valued at K9.7 million.

The sealed roads and the drainage system has given Buka an improved town look. In the past was like a small country side town or village when there were none of these developments.

Adding to these, are the Moonray town security have been very active in their duty of keeping the town clean.

Moonray security is contracted by the town council to keep the watch to make sure that all the people in the town are mindful of their rubbish when in town. With their presence in town, the Buka town area now stays clean all day.


The spitting of betel nut in the town area on the cement, road or on the ground around town can be penalized with a K20 on spot fine. Throwing rubbish on the wrong spot can also be fined and a refusal to pay can result in the offender being taken to the police station as authorized by the town authority.

Early every morning the security firm personnel do a cleanup of the town picking up rubbish dropped in the night, ensuring the town is clean to start the day.

To beautify the road junctions, flower gardens have erected, especially the junction at the side of the City Pharmacy building and the junction leading into the Buka General Hospital and Toyena Guest House.

Giving a bit of color to the buildings is the Digicel PNG promotional signboards and painting of buildings into their trademark red. This marketing strategy is also giving another improved look to the stores, the main market and other road side markets.

All of these improvements mentioned above a contributing to the new improved look for Buka town, though there are more improvements that the town needs such as proper building planning, town planning, sea side improvements and town landscaping and public parks.

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Excessive alcohol consumption puts generation at risk

By Anastasia Hagai

There are concerns that the over consumption of beer and homebrew has become an everyday activity in Bougainville, beyond the safe use for relaxation and socialising.

Many people, both males and females of different age groups, consume alcohol almost every day and this has become a concern to the local families, neighbours and chiefs of villages.

These uncontrolled drunks tend to cause problems, not only for their families, but also for local communities where property is damaged and individuals are abused physically and psychologically.

“It is an eye sore and a saddening site to see,” said one commuter in the Northern region.

“These individuals aren’t aware of the dangers and the consequences of this bad habit in the long run.”

These binge alcohol consumers have a habit of ignoring the issues that arise due to this over consumption. From the social perspective it affects the livelihood of the family and local villagers and for the health side it can lead to vision complications and reduced neurological functions of the brain.

Locals have also mentioned the lack of discipline enforced during the upbringing of this current generation and the loss and value of customs and traditions which has resulted in Bougainvilleans turning a blind eye towards this worsening issue within the communities.

On the same note, the over consumption of alcohol of this vast population has also being encouraged with the easy access of these substances within the area itself.

The continuation of effective awareness and enforcement of the law is crucial, as the future of Bougainville depends upon these intelligent minds who are throwing their lives away when they can be doing something productive for themselves and their families as well as their communities, by getting educated in the primary, secondary and vocational schools.

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Physios help to keep Bougainville fit & healthy

By Anastasia Hagai

Photo: Volunteer Service Abroad (New Zealand).

Physiotherapy is one of the many health care professions that focuses on the treatment of disabilities and injuries. A physiotherapist plays a vital role within a medical team in providing overall health for a patient.

These healthcare professionals are able to diagnose and provide treatment for a wide range of age groups starting from as young as infants to the elderly with a variety of conditions that limits their participation in society on a daily basis.

The impairments may be categorised further into neurological, cardio-respiratory, orthopaedic, paediatric and sports.

Physiotherapy is practiced within communities through a program known as community based rehabilitation. This is guided with a  theme of changing the perspective of society by promoting awareness of health status of our societies as well as the safety of its population by preventing impairments occurring as a result of trauma, diet and hygiene.

Physiotherapy services often partner with social care and education organisation to attain the best results for each and every individual living with some sort of impairment.

Many today in Bougainville neglect their own health and that of the society and province as a whole.

We have developed an attitude so solid, practiced for a very long time, a lifestyle in which we do not yet realize the negative effects it may have in our societies in the near future and the consequences we can face as a result of our negligence towards living such lifestyles.

A more healthy way of life can build up to creating a society with a healthy population whose fitness and health levels can be improved through physiotherapy in our day to day lives.

As we would also like to promote that a healthy and physically fit individual will perform to the maximum of his or her ability for their families and for a better Bougainville.

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Measles-Rubella inoculations carried out in Tinputz-Taonita

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio


Measles and Rubella are life threatening diseases and most of the health workers in Bougainville are instructed to give preventive injections to all the students.

Elementary and Primary students in the northern region were advised earlier this month to get preventative injections.

“It is a deadly disease and so all Elementary and some Primary school students aged 15 must get treatment” said a nurse in Rigamu.

In the Tinputz-Taonita constituency, the treatment started from the mountain in the frontier of Selau-Suir constituency last week. Nurses coming from Kekesu and Tearouki actually went up the mountains to give injections to the students. Parents were advised by the nursing sisters to bring those at home to nearby schools to get treatment for prevention of the disease.

“You must bring the little ones to us and we can help them,” said a nurse from Tearouki.

The treatment group which started last week in the frontier of Selau-Suir constituency arrived at Rigamu Primary School yesterday. They gathered all the students during recess and gave injections until 2pm.

All the students aged 15 were given injections to prevent Measles-Rubella in the area.

“Prevention is better than cure,” said a nurse while talking to the students.” Teachers as well as parents guided the students to the nurses and made sure no one missed treatment.

The group which gave injections yesterday at Rigamu Primary will continue to Kekesu and  until the end of May, taking the program to schools located near Namatoa Primary School.

By the following week the group will have finished with all the schools in the two constituencies. The sisters said that they will finish the treatment and start running courses in June regarding the new life threatening diseases in the constituency.

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Arawa Health Centre receives donation from Australia

By Tevu Tenasi


As Bougainville continues to rebuild, the Arawa District Health Centre has been fortunate to receive a donation from a Rotary group from Brisbane, Australia.

The delivery included children’s toys and dolls, hospital beds, bed sheets, pillow cases and first aid kits.

792-arawa-health-centreThe donation from Brisbane was arranged by an Australian friend, Mr John Davidson, and reached the shores of Bougainville. During his follow-up visit to Arawa at the start of May he was warmly welcomed by the Health Centre staff.

While Speaking to a group of staff Mr Davidson stated that all the new additions Centre’s itinerary came with the support of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and the Bougainville community in Brisbane.

He said that getting all the items together and bringing them to Bougainville a challenging task but was made easier with the help of Rotary.

792-davidson-vilosiSenior Medical Officer, Dr Joe Vilosi, gratefully thanked Mr John Davidson for his effective arrangement skills.

Dr Vilosi further stated that there is a need to identify what the hospital really needs.

He also thanked the Sunshine Coast Hospital in Australia for the donation.

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Midwifes celebrated in Arawa

By Tevu Tenasi


Arawa celebrated International Day of the Midwife for the first time ever with a marching rally, led by Sr Elizabeth Mundri and Sr Genevieve Anisia and their midwifery colleagues.

The International Day of the Midwife (IDM) is celebrated by over 90 countries and occurs annually on 5 of May to recognise the vital role and responsibilities of midwifes.

The theme of IDM 2016 was “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery” and the midwives shared this event with the surrounding communities to emphasise their role in ensuring newborns receive the quality care they deserve. Every women and newborn deserves to have timely access to the best possible care before and after pregnancy and childbirth.

804-arawa-midwifesThe occasion stated off at the Arawa Health Centre with a marching procession of midwifes, Arawa Health Centre staff and teachers and students from the Arawa School of Nursing, led by a SDA Marching group under the escort of a police vehicle.

The parade which included about 100 participants ended in Arawa main market.

Keynote speaker and Principal of Arawa School off Nursing Sr Celyne Tusala delivered a powerful speech to all who were gathered.

She addressed issues surrounding women’s health, one being teenage pregnancy and maternal death.

“While a good number of women deliver in the healthcare facilities,” Sr Tusala said, “a handful are still unaccounted for or deliver in the village, increasing the risk of maternal death”

On the same note, the Acting Director Nursing Services in Arawa Hospital Mr Iggy Giranah further stressed that mothers are to take antenatal clinic visits seriously. This is first point of entry where midwifes check pregnant mothers and high risk mothers are identified.

“Mothers you are require four antenatal checks, with all the necessary tests done, for you to be identified as a booked mother,” Mr Giranah stated.

By attending regular antenatal visits, complications can be identified earlier and maternal death is also minimised.

Mr Melchior Dare, former Autonomous Bougainville Government Minister and paediatric nurse by profession, stated that one of the challenges to the health service delivery is the aging workforce.

“Aging in our health workforce today is crippling service delivery,” Mr Dare mentioned.

He called upon political leaders to support our two currently existing schools of nursing within the region.

The event wound down with acknowledgment of remarks to the sponsors of this event, NGIP Agmark, Forwarding & Shipping Services in Bougainville, Jayberth Stationaries, RAD Pharmacy, Land Link and Last Chance Hire Cars.

The day ended with light refreshments at the Moanava Clinic within the Arawa Health Centre.

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Tinputz school addresses Malaria

774-tinputz-malaria-netBy Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

Tinputz High School has donated sleeping mosquito nets to students to control the deadly disease Malaria. This is part of a prevention strategy to keep students healthy and combat infection by the malaria virus.

Malaria is a deadly disease that affects the lives of many people, with the potential to paralyse and kill if no proper treatment is sought. Most of the boarding schools across the region are trying their very best to control the ailment.

It is amongst the challenges that disturb the students learning and some schools, like Bishop Wade Secondary School, are located in swampy areas where malaria-carrying mosquito breeds where bomb holes and the mangroves provides a comfortable breeding place these culprits.

Water tanks were another option for them to breed if students fail to clean them during rainy seasons.

Mosquito nets are recommended by doctors as the most vital sleeping equipment. They come in different sizes and colours, the big ones can fit three to four heads and the smaller ones can be used by single persons. Tinputz High provided the big ones that the teachers thought would last long.

774-tinputz-malaria“These aren’t given to use as pillows, you must use them.” Principal Mr Steven Nobi said.

“You must be conscious about your health every single day,” he continued, “your health will determine your future.”

The school will diagnose the situation and the state of each student after the first donation and give the second lot at the end of term two. Other teachers apart from the Principal recommended that health is one of the most important thing we need to consider in or daily lives.

“Be mindful of what you eat, drink, and wear; be mindful of your daily decisions,” said Mr Vincent Alusi.


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Patients in Panguna suffer disharmony at health centre

By Leonard Fong Roka


Sick patients at the Panguna Health Centre have spoken positively about the health services and facilities on offer there, but have raised concerns about the nearby social issues inconvenience which can inconvenience their recuperation.

Guardian Paansi Siviro, from the Upper Tailings area of Panguna who was found caring for her husband, claimed that Panguna Health Centre seemed to be the best place for patients who are admitted to recuperate, but it is surrounded by an irresponsible squatter population who come from the most isolated villages of the Panguna District.

“These settlers are really noisy and disturbing to the sick during the daytime and into the night hours,” Paansi said.

“Most of our sick people and even us, the guardians, are really fed up with such an environment of carelessness.”

The Panguna Health Centre is housed on the ground floor a 3-storey building, which is surrounded by similar structures.

On the second-floor is the Panguna District Administration and at the top are the public servants’ residential cottages.

These former Bougainville Copper Limited buildings were clustered on a slope at the Karona Section of the Panguna Township. After the crisis, the Bougainville Government and AusAID rehabilitated one of the buildings to house the Panguna District administration and Health Centre.

“The worst affected patients are the mothers who are here to deliver their infants alongside their newly born children,” Paansi continued.

“Every now and then they endure the reckless household noises just about 10-metres above us since the maternity ward is faces the offices and the residential areas of the squatter settlers from the Pangka-Irang Villages including some from Mosinau, Guava and other places and villages.”

Another patient, Victoria Dasiana from Damara Village of Panguna District, added, “Drunkards also can be found with their music and noise seated around the health centre till morning whenever cash is full in their pockets.”

“It is so irritating for us but what can we do? Nothing.”

According to Panguna Health Centre also has no cooking facility for the sick. Most spend little money they come with at the market and retail outlets.

Mothers in the maternity ward just try to shut the louvre windows of their ward and try to ignore the noises above them.

There may be a need for a medical facility further down the Tumpusiong Valley (Upper Tailings area) where there is another population centre.

Many of the sick patients admitted to the Panguna Health Centre are from the Tumpusiong Valley.

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Haisi celebrates new staff houses for health workers

By Eleanor Maineke

747-haisi-ceremony-160316 A large crowd gathered for the flag raising ceremony.

The welfare of the health workers has been an issue in Haisi recently, but the opening of the new houses gave a new hope for the members of Haisi, Sininnai, Murua and the district.

The people of Tokunutui in the Siwai district of South Bougainville celebrated the opening of the three fully-furnished staff houses in Haisi sub-health centre on Wednesday 16th of March 2016.

Haisi sub-health centre is located on the Catholic mission grounds of Haisi Parish. The mission was established in 1962 by missionaries. The Catholic parish covers Sininai in the Huyono area and Murua in the Bannoni area of BABA COE in Bana district.

One of the new staff houses at Haisi health sub-centre. One of the new staff houses at Haisi health sub-centre.

The opening celebration saw citizens from Murua and Sininnai converge on the Haisi Mission grounds to partake in the festivities. The project was possible with public funds made available by the Regional Member of Bougainville, Hon. Joe Lera and ABG Finance Minister and Member for Motuna-Huyono/Tokunutui Hon. Albert Punghau.

Unfortunately representatives from the Catholic Health Office in Buka who were supposed to be at the occasion were turned back at the roadblock at BABA.

The roadblock did not dampen the spirit of Hon. Joe Lera and the Catholic priest, Father Dominic Kiaku, as they left their vehicle at Ororo in the Bannoni area and walked all the way to Haisi Catholic mission. It was an example of a determined servant leader.

The staff houses were blessed before being put in to use for the betterment of the community. The staff houses were blessed before being put in to use for the betterment of the community.

The invited guests present at the ceremony included the Regional member Thomas Koioro, the Siwai district executive manager Mr. Martin Tumuki, members of the surrounding COE’s and the students of Haisi Primary School.

A hive of activities included items from the Tokunutui Cultural Group and the Pinanai Bamboo Ensemble before Mr. Lera officiated the official opening of the buildings.

The ceremony was concluded with the distribution of food. Everyone left feeling comforted by the fact that they will have the best medical services provided by a nursing staff who will have no reason depart because of housing problems.

Thank you to Mr. Chris Turapidik for all photographs

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Heavy rain causes flooding at Arawa Hospital

Tevu Tenasi


The continued down pour of heavy rain within Bougainville has caused flooding in most areas in February.

741-sr-genevive-anisiaThe Arawa District Hospital was been a busy place where most people within Central Bougainville and others as far as South Bougainville have been coming to receive healthcare services.

A few weeks ago the health facility was seen flooded with excessive rain water in the general ward, the labour ward, operating theatre and maternity ward.

As a result the hospital staff on duty could not deliver the necessary care and treatment to most patients admitted within the facility for a day.

The main cause of this was a result of blockage to water drainage system within the facility itself.

741-tracey-tsiroatsAccording to the Health Extention Officer of Arawa District Hospital, Miss Tracey Tsiroats, hospital itinerary items, such drugs, cotton wool and delivery sets, were damage.

While a thorough check in each hospital section was made, the items within pathology and the family support centre could not be saved as they were locked.

Thanks to the Mr Hare Eravu, a longtime serving health worker in Arawa, and his local knowledge, the drainage pipes were able to be cleared of all debris thus allowing full drainage of the excess water.

The aftermath of the flooding left the hospital staff almost a week of clean up.

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