The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011
By PATRICK TALU
A RURAL sub-health centre in the remote Nomad district of the North Fly electorate is in dire need of new health facilities and staff, a long-serving Australian missionary says.
Tom Hoey said the Mogulu sub-health centre, which serves more than12,000 people of the Biami tribe in the area, needed medical equipment and staff when the new multi-facility is completed in October.
Hoey and his wife, who have spent 43 years with the Biami people in the hinterland of Western, said the old health centre building was about to collapse and could not meet the demand for primary health care posed by the population.
He said since the health centre was built in the 1960s, no assistance had been give until the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) helped with a Lucas saw mill to cut down trees and built a new health centre building.
“With the help of PNGSDP, we have built this new building and, by October, we should complete it,” he said.
“We thank PNGSDP for giving us the tools to build on our own with our resources,” he said.
PNGSDP chief executive officer David Sode was impressed the way Hoye and his team of workers had to put up a multi-purpose building that will cater for maternity, outpatients, dispensary and a laboratory.
He said the free hand-out mentality that was becoming the norm in the country was not the spirit of helping communities for PNGSDP.
He assured the people of Biami he would take a submission to the PNGSDP board for K100,000 funding for the sub-health centre.
Hoey said that maintenance and staff would still be a problem and urged the government to help maintain it.
National AIDS Council secretariat director Wep Kanawi told Radio Australia that while there had been significant improvements in dealing with infectious diseases and mortality rates, resources were not being channelled effectively into rural areas.
“Sixty to 70% of every dollar that’s spent does not go beyond the urban setting,” he said.
“That means that 70-80% of the aid dollar is spent on 15% of the people, while 30% of it is spent on 85% of the people.
“That’s really the sort of calculations that need to be looked into.”