By Rachael Shisei – EM TV News, Madang
For 12 years Manam Islanders have lived in the care centres.
Now with the ever increasing population and faced with challenged of poor sanitation, limited water and more, the general state of heal amongst the islanders has deteriorated.
It is a slow death of a community displaced by the volcano more than 10 years ago.
“It’s not just the elderly people dying, mothers giving birth and the children are also dying as a result of our living conditions,” Nelson Mambote, a Former Ward 2 Member living at the Asarumba Care Centre said.
That situation is causing a mental strain on the health workers stationed at the Care Centres, who are ill equipped and out of stock all year round.
“I go knocking on doors of other health centres to ask if they can spare us some medicine and most times they mock me, but I just continue because the people are dying for help,” Doreen Jong, the only health worker at the Asarumba health centre said.
At the Bogia Health Centre, the state of the buildings tell the story. They need government help. Their staff are demoralised. In the past, here were many health workers, but there is only one at the health centres today.
“I’m working for the government and through the registration of the health centre, it must have medicine delivered for me to be able to effectively do my work,” Doreen said.
Though it’s tough, Doreen says she will continue to serve at the Care Centre.
In the event of an eruption, this health centre will again be on the frontline, receiving patients. If there is an eruption tomorrow, the workers here would not be able to handle the load.
“I’ve lived among them, the pains they feel, I feel too, so I will remain here for them,” she said.