By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Roger Hau’ofa is not new to lending his voice to raise funds for a worthy cause.
With over 50 years in radio, Roger is no stranger to appeals, whether for disaster victims or for individual medical cases.
This time the appeal is different because it has his name on it, and it is not an easy task for him.
His is the unmistakeable voice that has become synonymous with talkback radio in Papua New Guinea.
While the voice has not wavered, physically, Roger is showing signs that all is not well.
It was during a full medical check-up that he found out that, “everything else was fine except I had no kidneys,” he joked during an interview.
Due to Roger’s kidney problem, his immediate need is to undergo dialysis as his daughter Michelle explains.
“Dad’s on dialysis at the moment and the end goal is to have a kidney transplant, but both options here in PNG is very expensive.”
Through the discovery of Roger’s medical condition, his family is finding that information, support and treatment for kidney patients in PNG is not easy to access, even in Port Moresby.
Through the public system, dialysis treatment is offered through an NGO, the Kidney Foundation, and with two machines they are always booked to capacity.
Through the private system which Roger is using, it costs K1,000 per treatment. The doctors believe he needs to receive dialysis three times a week, but at the moment he is going twice a week.
For someone who is used to being of service to others, it’s not an easy task to ask for money for himself.
For this reason, Roger and his family have decided that while the appeal will be first and foremost to raise funds for his treatment, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness on this disease and to advocate for better public health care for PNG.
“We all believe, dad especially, that we are on this journey to see what the need is out there and to help the best way we can,” Michelle said.
For Roger, his appeal is for the government to put in place a comprehensive health care package for workers.
“They are sacrificing a lot,” he said through tears, “to send family members overseas for treatment.”
As Michelle explains, her father’s kidney transplant will cost around K300,000 or more. The Hau’ofa family has started fundraising towards this with a K50,000 donation already received from the National Gaming Control board.
For those who wish to donate can go to the Roger Hau’ofa Medical Appeal Facebook page.