Bringing volunteer doctors not solution, says Gambo

National

BRINGING doctors into Papua New Guinea as volunteers is not an encouraging approach in providing solutions to health issues, Volunteer Services Abroad (VSA) manager Johannes Gambo says.
Gambo, when addressing a recent occasion in Kokopo, East New Britain, said this was because when doctors came to PNG, their aim would be only to cure patients.
“The real health problem is ignorance. People need to learn how important it is to prevent sicknesses,” he said.
“The issue of diabetes in PNG is a concern. Diabetic patients are losing legs. Most of them are incapable of working to generate income for their family. This becomes a burden.”
He said VSA has decided to move away from bringing volunteer doctors into the country.
“We are now looking at bringing in dieticians and nutritionists from New Zealand to help locals understand the importance of eating good food,” Gambo said.
“Many locals like to drink canned drinks. They need to know what they are consuming.
“A canned drink can have up to 10 tea spoons of sugar. Continuous consumption can lead to diabetes after some years.”
He said it was vital for locals to appreciate and consume fresh local food.
“If we encourage people to eat local food instead of canned food, we can also be able to keep money in the country.”
He said PNG was facing foreign currency crises because the country was importing food.
“The local markets have fresh peanuts, yet locals prefer buying imported peanut butter in shops. Why is that? It is because locals do not know how to make peanut butter.”

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