Awareness on prevention

Health Watch, Normal

The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013

 AWARENESS on health issues and prevention methods of people getting sick are more important than curing sickness with medication. 

That was what government health workers, in partnership with the Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV) health team, brought to rural communities in Bulolo, Morobe, in a month-long health patrol into the region recently.

The health patrol that began on June 9, saw a team of 12 officers visit about 18 villages starting at Winima, in Upper Watut, to the Middle Watut area.

And they have identified that giving the villagers awareness or health toktok on basic hygiene and sanitation practices, had greater effectiveness because it would prevent them from getting sick.

“Prevention is better that cure,” paediatrician and consultant, Dr Nicholas Mann, who accompanied the team, said.

Mann, a former health secretary, said the most important thing for the community to know and to change was health information.

“Medicine and drugs are secondary. It’s only to treat those who are suffering but the most important thing is to prevent them from getting sick,” he said. 

“The idiom that says prevention is better than cure is very true. We have to associate long life with our messages. 

“If you want to live long that this is what you should do.” 

He said most of the children they examined were suffering from anaemia or lack of blood either from malaria or worms in the stomach. 

Mann said effective hygiene and sanitation awareness would address this problem.

During each visit to these communities the team talked about healthy eating, HIV/AIDS, family planning, immunisation and eye care to a very attentive crowd who wanted to know more about this issue. 

After a health toktok the medical check-ups were conducted.

One such community is Hikinangowe, a village that has received little to no government services for a very long time.

Locals, Jaken Yoliam and his wife and their two children all came for the check-up. 

Yoliam said it took them almost a day’s travel to visit the nearest hospital at Bulolo and he was very happy that the health team had come to their village.

He thanked MMJV for the timely patrol, saying it was an opportunity for the community to check their health.