THE Popondetta General Hospital lacks manpower, including specialist doctors.
On June 30, we took in my old man, about 80 years old, who was sick.
He ended up being the third out of five who died that night at the outpatient ward.
The duty nurses did their best and I commend them, but where were the on-call doctors?
Northern Governor Gary Juffa cannot provide the leadership that is badly needed through his health sector chairman to ensure the Northern health authority is not only functioning, but providing the professional services the people deserve.
Instead, the health authority that was established in the province almost three years ago is dysfunctional and stagnant, thus, health services are not reaching the populace while prescription drugs are sold on the streets by unqualified street sellers without any control by the relevant authorities.
People just buy amoxycillin and other prescription drugs for all manner of illnesses, thus, causing drug resistance and damages to the body.
People are dying from preventable illnesses due to poor health infrastructure, poor road networks and from poor economic activities, especially in the agriculture sector that thrived during the colonial era, but died out after Independence due to negligence on the part of the provincial politicians including Juffa who seems high profile yet there is nothing to show for on the ground in many respects.
Feeder roads in the province including Causada, Koipa-Kiorota, Handarituru-Barevoturu, Awala-Sasembata, Sarimbo-Siai and those from the Kokoda area that are economical because of the betel nut trade are in a deteriorated state.
After travelling these roads on PMV trucks, people become sick from shaking and bumping against wooden and metal seats and other parts and while others recover, some develop multiple illnesses and die.