There is a great need for more Papua New Guineans to become specialist doctors and surgeons.
This was identified by parents of children who were born with physical disorders, who have been searching everywhere for specialist doctors to treat their children.
Thanks to the volunteers from the Australian Interplast team, who have always visited PNG on a mission to repair bodies and rebuild lives, for free.
This is little Stallone Ben from Jiwaka Province, just days after his surgery led by the Australian Interplast team at Mt Hagen General Hospital.
A team of six, two nurses, two anesthetists and two surgeons, one specialized on body burns; and another on cleft palates, or deformations in the mouth arrived on Monday, to conduct two weeks of reconstructive surgeries on patients, especially children.
Stallone’s parents have been in and out of hospitals in Jiwaka, Lae, Madang, and finally Mt Hagen for almost a year, for a specialist surgeon to conduct reconstructive surgery to Stallone’s lip.
But all they could get was hospital bills of at least K1000 to conduct such surgeries, and then added cost of transportation, accommodation and food.
His mother, Monica, was relieved when she received a call from Mt Hagen hospital, that the operation was free, and her son would at last receive a repair of a life time.
Monica thanked the continued support of Interplast Australia, and its volunteers who gave their heart to the operation, giving smiles to the children and their parents.
She also called on the government to create scholarships for medical doctors to go for further studies, and become specialist doctors to help our growing population.
The Interplast team are working side by side with local nurses, surgeons, physiotherapists, and medical officers to exchange knowledge and train the local staff.
Interplast sends outs volunteers who are mostly surgeons and other specialist doctors to Asia-Pacific regions to provide plastic and reconstructive surgeries, as well as building the capacity of local medical systems through their training and mentoring.
By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV News, Mt Hagen