I PAY tribute to an outstanding physician Dr Paul Waki Mondia who passed away recently.
From Chimbu, the passing of this outstanding, humble, dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable senior physician in the country has left a huge vacuum in the medical field.
I met Dr Mondia when he was a final year medical student at the University of Papua New Guinea medical faculty when I went to do my second year more than 40 years ago.
He was a loving father who loved his job and family and dedicated to his work, getting things done without much fanfare.
He loved his guitar too and had taught me one or two lines.
He completed his master’s degree in internal medicine with further training at the Royal Prince Alfred’s Hospital Sydney in the 1980s.
I joined him there when I did my internal medicine training with the likes of Sir Dr Puka Temu and Dr Paison Dakulala, the current acting Health secretary among others.
He returned home and became the first tuberculosis specialist physician looking after the country stationed at the Port Moresby General Hospital.
Dr Mondia worked tirelessly to address the need of TB patients.
He diagnosed the first HIV/AIDS patient in PNG.
Dr Mondia and I were fortunate to go on a trip to Montreal, Canada, to attend the fourth International HIV/AIDS conference representing PNG in 1991.
A first trip for Papua New Guinea to attend such important gathering.
He was also very active in the PNG Medical Society as a contributor and member of the technical advisory committee.
He presented papers at the medical symposiums including overseas medical conferences.
He loved his job and wanted the best for his clients/patients.
He left the Health Department and started his own practice at Waigani for a while and ended up working with the Pacific International Hospital as a senior physician until his demise.
To the immediate family, our sincere condolences to you for your loss. You have lived an exemplary life and to your fullest.
Farewell “Gania” my friend/colleague and mentor you will surely be missed
Dr Banare Bun,