Garaina health needs fixing

Lae News, Normal


THE health system in Garaina, Bulolo district, needs to be revitalised to serve the more than 50,000 people of the Waria Valley, Morobe province.
Health centres and sub-health centres as well as aid-posts are rundown, have no medication, or are understaffed, health workers said.
The workers said they had been ignored by the Morobe provincial administration.
One of the stark indicators of lack of health services was the revelation by the workers that most of the children that were born since 2000 had not been immunised.
There were no immunisation patrols due to lack of health staff and vaccines and storage facilities.
The vaccines would need to be kept in a refrigerator “and there is none”, staff members of the Garaina Health Centre said.
They said AusAID funds for districts supplementary immunisation programmes were conducted once a year.
The only health centre located at the Garaina station caters for 17 council wards but lacks health staff, labour ward, and MCH clinic, TB DoTs and sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics.
“The provincial human resource division had forgotten about us,” they said.
“We have not received any reviews of their performances in the last four years.” 
The health facility has the status of a health centre. But it has no health extension officer (HEO) and nursing officer manage the health centre and staff welfare.
The pregnant women were apprehensive about having attended to by four male community health workers.
“Pregnant women do come for post-natal checks but give birth in their own villages,” they said.
The staff revealed that out of 13 aid posts and a health centre, only four (three aid posts and one two men aid post) were operational while the rest were not manned.
Because the in-patient ward was run down without proper beddings, lights, kitchen and an ablution block without water supply, the sick were treated at the outpatient and sent home.