Monday, April 22, 2019

Thinking about things...

Im standing on the beach at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia
Sometimes He plans the most remarkable things in His own way....things that we have lost faith in and takes the pain away in the most unexpected of ways. We question the way things are. We ask why. There are more questions than answers. But we never give up. We should never loose faith on He who holds our breath in His hands. We hold onto His promises each day.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Beating Sago

Beating sago the Kurti way.... (Kurti is a language group on the north coast of Manus island, PNG).

The men and boys beat the sago this way and then the women collect the pulp in bags (see two bags already filled) and then wash it using a filtration and decanting process.

The bow (n'drangkei) that Iam holding is made from the root of tree. At the edge of a bow, we attach a piece of bamboo (modou). As we lift the bow and strike the sago, it is the bamboo that scraps the sago off. The finer the sago pulp, the easier to wash by the women thus more sago is produced. A really mature sago tree like this (which is sectioned into three parts) can in total produce between two to four 10kg bags of sago

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Painim Aut Health Seminar

DWU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences held its first health seminar on Wednesday 4th October 2017. The seminar was titled 'Painim Aut Health Seminar' with the theme: 'Capturing current health research: A collaborative focus to address the Health Vision 2050'. This small project is a partnership between Divine Word University, the Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association, and the PNG Australia Alumni Association - Madang Chapter.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A typical Madang garden

A typical garden on the coastal, lowland parts of Madang province. As you can see, there are bananas trees, yams growing in mounds with sticks used to assist the vines of the yams grow upwards above the ground. You can also see betelnut trees lined in between the yams and the banana tress. The ground looks cleared and cleaned suggesting that someone is tending to the gardens on a regular basis. Right in the forefront of the picture, someone just planted some sweet potatoes (kaukau).

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A simple analogy of health service user fees in PNG

Wanpla papa em name blong em ‘John’ na em I gat wanpla kanu. Displa papa i promisim ol pikinini blong em olsem em bai lukautim ol na displa kanu bai givim helpim lo ol taim ol i bungim hevi. Nau displa kanu i gat wanpla wokboi isave lukautim em na papa blo kanu i save baim wokboi sampla moni lo wok em i wokim. Planti taim wokboi em i save hamamas tru lo wok tasol sampla taim, papa blong displa kanu ino save givim mani blong stretim kanu or baim nupla pul or stretim saman blo kanu. Nau, kanu ino stap stret na halivim igo lo ol pikinini blo John ino kam gut tumas. Ol pikinini blo John bungim hevi na wokboi I wari lo ol. Wokboi i kirap na tok: ‘Ol pikinini, sapos yupla laik mi halivim yupla, orait yupla putim mani kam na yumi stretim saman blo kanu na displa kanu bai halivim yumi gen’. Ol pikinini i harim displa na tromoi mani igo lo wokboi na wokboi usim mani lo stretim kanu na i halivim ol pikinini. Papa blo displa kanu I lukim displa samting i kamap na korosim tru wokboi na tokim em lo stoppim displa pasin. Em tokim wokboi: ‘displa em kanu blo mi na mi bai givim mani or stretim lo laik na taim blo mi, ino wok blo yu lo painim mani na stretim kanu’. Wokboi i harim displa na em i belhat nogut tru na tok: ‘Boss, yu stap na lukim hevi kamap lo kanu na yu no stretim, yu larim ol pikinini blo yu bungim bikpla hevi tumas. Mi stap wantaim ol na mi lukim hevi blo ol. Nau yu tok mi noken kisim mani halivim lo ol pikinini lo stretim displa kanu. Displa kanu ino halivim ol pikinini blo yu blong wanem yu yet ino stretim displa kanu.  Na yet yu tok mi mas ronnim displa kanu na stap isi tasol. Boss,displa toktok blo yu em i asua tumas'.

In this story, the 'papa blo kanu' is the Government, the 'wokboi' represents public health services and the 'pikinini' represent users of the public health system. This story above is a simplified version of public health services such as hospitals, district hospitals, health centres charging the public, user fees, to operate and maintain their respective services while the government looks on and does not fund the required infrastructure and maintenance of primary health care. 

Now we hear that the government has cut K50 million from Church Health Services this year. Where is the rationale in this? All the Community Health Worker Training Schools are run by Churches. 

In 2012, the PNG Promoting Effective Public Expenditure(PEPE) project surveyed 360 primary schools and health clinics across eight provinces. Many of the same facilities were also surveyed in 2002. They discovered that the average health clinic sees fewer patients and has a lower level of drug availability than ten years ago.
 • 41 per cent of clinics received no external funding or in-kind support in 2012.
• 29 per cent relied only on user fees to cover operational costs.
 • Only 20 per cent of health clinics have beds with mattresses.
• 75 per cent of health workers contribute to the cost of health care delivery from their own pocket.

The PNG health care system is really on life support.....

But there are good strategies for the way forward such as the private partnership programs between the state and private institutions to bring health services such as Oil Search in delivering Malaria and HIV/AIDS  programs. A key point highlighted by Feachem et al is changing the way we have been doing things in order to achieve better health outcomes. In their report, they pointed out that the PNG Government must implement a newer approach to managing health which is to embrace public private intergrated partnership (PPIP) whereby the government become 'stewards' rather than 'providers' of the health system.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mi mekim 'Homemade Ginger Beer'

After my recent trip to Port Moresby where I stayed with the Christian Brothers, they showed me how they made the non-alcoholic ginger beer. So when I came back home, I decided to brew my own. The first version is good but the second one will be great.
When I went to town, I saw that the same version but factory made is around K20 for only four bottles. So if you make your own, you could have more than four bottles!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Making Advocacy work

When people think about Advocacy, they think about 'awareness' but advocacy is something a bit more than that. Advocacy is 'the deliberate process of influencing those who make decisions'.
Advocacy will influence policy makers as a means of addressing policy root causes of poverty and discrimination. Advocacy efforts are not with individuals but should reach large segments of the population.
So this week, I did a two day training for various organisations giving an introduction to advocacy and steps to carry our an effective advocacy campaign for their organization.

The workshop was funded by Strongim Pipol Strong Neisen and facilitated by myself on behalf of Divine Word University. Particpants were representative of organisations such as Buk Blong Pikinini, Baptist Union, Aigon Cooperative Society, Eastern Highlands Family Voice, Country Women's Association Madang, Media for Development Initiative, Department of Community Development, Salvation Army, Transparency International, West New Britain Community Development Forum, PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons, Catholic Diocese of Wabag, United Church and also Center for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR) Inc.