Let’s stop building castles in the air

By Dr Kristoffa Ninkama (The National 31May10)

I REFER to the letter “Lack of medical equipment fatal” by Andrew Pini (The National, May 26).
Papua New Guineans are dying like flies from preventable and lifestyle
diseases.

This is the result of our government’s negligence to promote primary healthcare and failure to provide medical equipment, drugs and support facilities such as CT scans, pathology services, laboratories, etc.

In the case of the late Kundi Pok, it appears he died from a heart attack.

Let me give readers a perspective of a hospital’s approach to treating a heart attack victim.

When patients with heart attacks are seen in the emergency department, one of two things can happen. The patient either dies or survives.

Prompt effort is made to secure the airways, hook the patient to a
defibrillator machine and immediately protect the heart with oxygen, lots of pain killers, optimise blood pressure, drugs to dissolve any existing blood clots and to prevent new blood clots formation, drugs to protect the heart and support its activity by reducing its work load to the bare minimum without compromising it.

Simultaneous events include bedside radiology and blood to analyse the general body chemistry is carried out and any discrepancies are corrected promptly.

This is the most critical phase of any patient with heart attack.
After the patient is completely stabilised, the next phase is to arrange transportation of the patient to a tertiary centre equipped with cardiac catheterisation for the purpose of a special test called angiography to determine which heart blood vessel(s) is/are blocked.

Once that is determined, a patient can have stent in place to reopen the blocked blood vessel or under go an open heart surgery.

Thereafter, the patient is on life-long medications to control blood
pressure and a change of lifestyle.

Major hospitals in PNG should by now have all these basic life saving drugs and equipment readily available whilst awaiting transfer to a tertiary facility. There should at least be one tertiary hospital with a cardiac catheter laboratory and trained staff.

Papua New Guineans should by now be trained to perform open heart surgery, otherwise, innocent young lives will continue to perish such as the one reported.

This then leads me to two events in recent times that have raised concerns about the government’s ability (or the lack of it) to make sound and informed decisions. I make reference to the government’s injection of K20 million to build the Pacific Medical Centre, and secondly, the PM’s announcement in New Zealand to provide aid to smaller Pacific Island nations.

This goes to show that the PM has cognition problems. This is nothing short of somatisation, which is the facultative thoughts of the mind being interpreted into bodily symptoms which are gibberish and nonsensical. Grandiose ideas are synonymous in PNG with the “big man” syndrome mentality.

An obsession with the LNG project with the illusion of money in the air for grabs seems so intoxicating to the PM that he had forgotten about basic services to the people.

For the information of the PM, the small Pacific Island nations are better off than the people of his electorate in the Sepik. The PM’s children and grandchildren are living very comfortably in Cairns whilst the people of his electorates are suffering silently. So spare a
thought for the Sepiks, PM.

Dr Kristoffa Ninkama
Queensland

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3 thoughts on “Let’s stop building castles in the air

  1. Doc,
    We can only air our frastrations and hopefully other struggling PNGs know and feel what you and many hundreds and thousands other like minded,
    educated and in the know are coming up against every day since 30 or more years PNG came came up with this great idea of “depedence,” independence

    You know the usual but I will say it,the likes of the man you mentioned and his family have it so good that they can pick and choose where to live: and off course with their health issues,well excuse me ; but Australia is just an hour or so away.But at whose expense may I ask???!!!

    It would be the People of PNG,it is at our expense because we have given them this man dated to run the Nation of PNG as a democracy.BUT some ‘elements’ within this democracy have seen it fit to capitalize on the given mandate. They have these many years and become rich and powerful(and off course famous).And when you are in that privileged position you have many friends who will’ keep them there’ because they themselves are like leeches have to have the ‘parent’ to suck on.You know what I am saying.

    We will like sheep to the slaughter house will no doubt will entertain them come election day.They will come with all their BULLs…T and we will all once again say ‘Yes Minister, No Minister’ !!

    Good doctor ,we put them there.Maybe they should be brought down from their high place.Who will??!!

  2. Dr Ninkama,

    Your quote; “This is nothing short of somatisation, which is the facultative thoughts of the mind being interpreted into bodily symptoms which are gibberish and nonsensical” is so apt.

    Judy: the only bastion PNG now has left to defend the people’s rights is the Judicial system. If it bows to political pressure then its ‘all over red rover’. Thye need everyone’s support, now.

    So after the Friday’s fiasco when the landowner rights of were voted away 73 – 10, its time to call a spade a spade.

    People of Papua New Guinea, you must unite and support those few politicians and community leaders who are brave enough to be fighting to ensure the rights and future of all PNGians are not sold off for a song or more importantly, a bulging, overseas bank account. Those of you in the cities and towns who have access to news reports and good communications must get in touch with their families in the bush and inform them of what’s happening. The very freedom to defend your traditionally owned assets has now been thrown away for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver (or is it nickel?).

    Now is not the time to think in terms of where in PNG you come from or who is a wantok. Now is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder with your countrymen and women. Nambis with Highlander. Islander with Papuan. If you let this opportunity pass you will have reportedly signed your future and that of your children over to foreign control.

    Business and development is good for the country but not the current foreign domination and manipulation of your vacuous leaders.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    1. Doc,

      I think the time is long overdue for putting all these frustrations into action. All of us proud PNGians know what is going on and yet are supposedly powerless to do something about it. We are very frustrated (as evidenced from raging debates and heated arguements when two or more educated PGNians come together over a beer or coffee or meet) but do not put pen to paper or go out of our way to speak out or take action, for the simple reason that who out there will take heed and act on the cries of the people. At the conclusion of the heated debates abd arguements we go into our little enclaves with a big sigh of frustration and let the anger and frustration blow over with passage of time until the next controversial bill gets passed or the next corruption is revealed. The cycle starts all over again.

      What we need now is to take action. Enough of talk and beating our heads in frustration. The country desperately needs a charistmatic leader (not necessarily a politician) who has the country and its future at heart to lead the people to throw out this corrupt government and its beaurecratic system out or stop this rort and build a country that is sustainable for our future generations.

      Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and others are now where they are because of their human resources and not because of wealth like what PNG has. We have all of it so lets not waste it now and be cursed by our furture generations.

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