Team rescues mother, child

The National, Monday July 18th, 2016

IN the remote Karamui sub-district of Chimbu, life for a 15-year-old orphaned girl and her seven-month-old pre-mature baby has been an uphill battle.
The baby boy, Kuman Bewa, was not able to feed off the mother, Noni Bewa, whose complications were compounded by a lack of motherhood knowledge.
A Medical Outreach Team from the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Kundiawa General Hospital led by director Dr John Tonar visited the Negabo health centre. They found the struggling mother and son.
“We uncovered that their lives were under serious threat because basic services like health, education and others were not available in this remote part of Chimbu,” Tonar said.
“The mother was confused because she was too young to know motherhood, we squeezed her milk into the baby’s mouth and it started to feed.”
The teenager was the firstborn in a family of four, two girls and two boys. Their parents died of a sickness she has no knowledge of.
As the eldest, Bewa took responsibilities to care for her three siblings.
“I was like the father and mother for my younger siblings,” she said.
Unfortunately, she encountered an experience with a man she refuses to reveal in fear of her life. She became pregnant which resulted in the birth of Kuman Bewa.
After  medical screening of mother and baby, Tonar recommended that they be airlifted to the Sir Joseph Nombri Kundiawa General Hospital for treatment and care.
When the team returned last week, Kuman Kewa had passed away.
“Since the baby has passed away, the mother will eventually regain strength – we cannot do anything. This is not an isolated case in remote areas like Negabo.
“I am sure there are many similar cases like this in many remote areas,” Tonar said.
He confirmed referring six patients with chronic health problems to the hospital.
Tonar thanked Salt-Nomane Karamui MP Mogerema Wei for establishing a partnership with Manalos Aviation that made transportation.
The hospital has partnered with the Simbu provincial government, Simbu Children’s Foundation, Manolos Aviation, Salt Nomane-Karamui district and the provincial health division.
The hospital has carried out outreach programmes that has seen more than 3000 treated since 2014.
“We are bringing specialised medical services to the  patients under the programme, clearly implementing the provincial government’s motto ‘Going Rural, Go Long Ples,” Tonar said.