Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Enga’s poor health facilities fatal

Source: Post Courier, Tuesday January 8, 2012

THE number of preventable deaths in Enga has increased as rural health facilities, including the Kandep, Laiagam and Maramuni health centres in the mineral-rich provinces are run down.
The deteriorating conditions of these major health facilities have caused patients to travel the long distance to Wabag general hospital, with many of them on the verge of death, over the last 10 years.
The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Salan Ere said yesterday that the Kandep and Maramuni district health centres were closed for 10 and five years respectively, while the Laiagam health centre was rundown with medical staff using candle light for delivery and other emergency cases.
He said if it was not for the church-run health facilities and the Wabag general hospital, which functions under the national government, the number of deaths in the province would be much higher.
He said Wabag hospital has seen an influx of patients in very critical conditions in the recent years, especially people from Kandep, Laiagam and Maramuni areas.
Enga is privileged to have the Lutheran Church-run Mambisanda hospital in Wapenamanda, the Baptist Church-run Kompiam hospital and the Catholic Church-run Yampu and Londol hospitals in the Ambum Kompiam district.
One of the top hospitals, the SDA-run Sopas hospital outside Wabag town, was closed 10 years ago following a tribal fight in the area, while workers in the Kandep centre fled for their lives as election related tribal warfare raged in the valley.
Mr Ere expressed his concern at the manner in which politicians have not helped health services, adding they were only fit at criticising the operations of the existing facilities.
“We can’t deny that we have people in very critical conditions brought in and they die on arrival. These deaths could only be prevented if all provincial health facilities in the rural areas are fully operational,” Mr Ere said.
Referring to public comments that a lot of deaths were caused by mismanagement, Mr Ere said though Enga hosted a world class open pit gold mine in the world, much of the millions of kina pumped into the provincial coffers were never translated into quality health service for the people.
“We don’t have the equipment except from the national department of Health, there is no internal support,” Mr Ere said.
“Most of these preventable deaths could not have happened if there was efficient provincial health services in the rural areas. We can’t perform miracles if we don’t have the equipment and a well run provincial health service.
“It’s funny that people, especially the Enga provincial government, can easily blame us and say mismanagement by the Wabag hospital is the cause of deaths,” Mr Ere said.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to express a simple observation rampant in many parts of this country.

    Illiteracy appears to play an important part in influencing health outcomes. Well, it can be argued that many other factors also affect this observation. But health services are meant to be used by the people for whom they were established. If the people cannot utilize them appropriately and effectively, then these services lie in waste.
    Of particular concern in this observation is the tendency by the general populace to present late in their disease progression. This is an important factor in the outcome of any illness or injury. Late presentations in hospitals and main health facilities occur when patients do not get medical help early or when available services and resources required for early referrals to competent facilities are unavailable or offered late.
    Vital statistics gleaned from such settings reflect to a less extent their competence, but more of the disease progression and thus, the prognosis.
    With this view, Wabag General Hospital should not be viewed as poor or nonperforming institution. Those who seek to perceive it as such do not understand the issues discussed above or are themselves non-performers who strategize to blame the poor health outlook of Enga Province to Wabag General Hospital thereby, washing their hands clean off the health woes in-front of their faces.
    They should know very well that Wabag General Hospital is a National Government run entity with specific areas of its operations focused in areas that operate collaboratively with the Provincial Health Department but not as a provincial government machinery.
    When Wabag General Hospital attains the Provincial Health Authority (PHA) status - which had been signed just recently - only then the functions of the Provincial Helath Department will be transferred to the administration of the Hospital. Thereafter, statements regarding non-competence of the hospital can be made.


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