The safety men are poised to deliver the goods
A day in the life of Awi Magret

Fairness and unfairness in the health system


IT’S 36 YEARS after Independence and it is high time Papua New Guineans started asking themselves this question: Why do we continually foot the medical bills of Sir Michael Somare and other well-to-do pollies?

This question is especially relevant when our own rural poor - like the grieving father from Western Province in the story below – make futile appeals for help.

It's bloody unfair, and now we hear that the former prime minister went back again to Singapore for a medical check up when a stranded father needed the nation’s help at his hour of greatest need.

Why is this so? Is it because this poor rural villager is not a PM or politician or rich man?

Let’s help the small guy, the poor villager or anyone who cannot afford to do that even in our urban environment, but say no to continually pampering politicians.

Please help where you can by sending some money to the bank account below as it’s our 36th Independence Anniversary and charity should begin at home here in PNG.

Check this sad story by Maureen Gerawa in the Post-Courier and pray for this grieving father and her daughter Darusila.

May god richly bless both of them and her dear soul rest in eternal peace in heaven.


THE pomp and ceremony at the Jack Pidik Park was a far cry from the sorrow and sadness echoing through the halls of the Port Moresby General Hospital on the weekend.

For one very sad father, not even the colour of the country’s independence anniversary would mask the loss he felt last Saturday morning.

Four months ago, Bariga Gurag travelled thousands of kilometres from Daru in Western Province to the PNG capital of Port Moresby in the hope of finding a cure for a cancer that had immobilized his 12-year-old daughter Darusila.

After what appeared to be a successful operation on the growth in her stomach, little Darusila and dad Bariga were looking forward to the homecoming to Serki on the Fly River.

But there was a hitch – the Gurags referral hospital Daru had given them a one way ticket.

For a villager with few relatives in the Capital, Bariga Gurag was facing a dilemma: how to raise the money to take his lovely little daughter home.

Then the inevitable happened – the cancer invaded her stomach again and the Gurags went back to Ward 2 of the PMGH for a second time.

But the cancer was more aggressive than before and doctors advised that they could do little for the daughter.

Last week, Bariga made a plea on the eve of Independence Day for help to take his daughter home.

But before we could print that heartfelt appeal, little Darusila succumbed to the disease on Saturday morning.

Darusila’s case is not uncommon in our country where health services in the rural areas are next to nothing and poor remote communities never get to see a medical doctor.

It demonstrates the growing chasm in access to health and even education for the majority of the country’s rural population who have had to rely more on services provided by churches and non government organisations.

The body of his daughter is now at the PMGH morgue and Bariga is appealing for help to take her home to Serki.

Anyone who is willing to help Bariga can contact him via the PMGH Family Support Centre and talk to Tessie Soi.

The telephone number is 324 8246.

He said it would be too expensive for him to afford a coffin as well as a ticket for himself.

From Daru to Seki village, which is a day’s boat ride up the Fly River, they would need nearly K3000 to hire a dinghy and buy fuel.

Darusila is the first of only two children he had. The younger one, about three years old, is with the mum in the village.

Source: Post-Courier, 19 September


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David Kitchnoge

Reg - Independence is a funny word. What are we independent of? I thought we have always been independent. Anyway, that's a matter for another day.

But back to this article, the unfairness in almost all aspects of life in PNG is just sickening. Politicians, ex politicians and other boofheads who enjoyed an ounce of popularity at some stage in their lives seem to think they are some breed above the rest.

The unfairness in our justice system makes me want to hang myself and simply escape from my misery.

Reginald Renagi

People make a government so their rights (to life, freedom, and happiness) will be safeguarded. The job of the government is to protect the rights of the people.

A government is good when it does this.

The government must do what the people say, because the people made the government. When the government does what the people say, it is called a democracy.

In PNG, this does not always happen, making the people suffer for many years; despite many changes of government since Independence in 1975.

Sometimes the government acts badly and not in the national interest. Many times, the government does not protect the rights of the people.

When this happens, the people have to stop the government.

Then they have to make a new government, a good government that will protect their rights.

Sometimes the people of this country do not want to live in PNG anymore because of the many problems the government has not addressed with a strong political will and commitment.

Sometimes these people also want to make their land into a new country that is not a part of the old country they lived in before.

Reginald Renagi

PNG’s independence is tantamount to every citizen's right to govern his or her house in the villages, towns and cities.

Independence gives our beautiful country the right to govern itself and become the owner of its own destiny.

Independence empowers me as a PNG citizen to interact freely with everyone in my own country as well as with the world.

It also means that, as a citizen of PNG, I can say what I feel and see happening in my country without any fear, or favour.

Joe Wasia

It’s very true, Reg. Successive governments have neglected the rural majority for many years. There is nothing to show after PNG's political independence 36 year ago.

NGOs and churches are playing major roles in providing basic services to rural Papua New Guinea.

Government services like schools, roads, and health are in a deplorable state compared to NGOs and church run services.

I do not know what would happen if NGOs and churches never existed.

As a rural Papua New Guinean, I was surprised to see for the first time that PNG's capital on 16 September was celebrating independence in style.

Many rural PNGns like myself have never felt the benefits of independence and have no reason to celebrate.

Celebrating what? What has government done for us? People in the main centres may have reason to celebrate the day but rural PNGns have nothing show and nothing to celebrate.

Can the new government shift its focus to the rural population who are dying of curable diseases, who lack infrastructure and services, etc.

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