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Port Moresby
December 7, 2021
Health Mi Ripot Papua New Guinea

New born baby dies as hospital faces drug shortage

By Jim John

A new born baby boy died at the Kiunga district hospital in Western Province on Wednesday last week due to a shortage of incubator machines.

The baby boy was born on Monday 05th  of April and was kept by his mother with warm clothing at the hospital.

According to the baby’s mother who requested anonymity, there was only one incubator which was already occupied by another baby, born premature a week before.

She says her baby would not have passed away if there were more incubators for babies.

She was told by health workers to keep her baby warm with thick clothing and to prevent heat loss.

She says that her first born baby was intubated for breast feeding and was not kept in an incubator, resulting in the unfortunate death of the baby.

The maternity ward in Kiunga district hospital is now in dire need of incubators.

Meanwhile, the hospital lacks basic medicines to treat patients.

These medicines include Amoxcillion, Panadol, Pantrine, Salbutamol inhalers, IV fluids, Oxygen cylinders, Artemether amongst others.

Acting health manager for North Fly District, Rody Ukin, says the hospital had been facing a shortage of medicines since February this year.

He says some patients seeking medical treatment are being given open referrals and told to get medicine from private pharmacies at shops in Kiunga.

He says formal procurement process had been done but they have not received any supplies, forcing health workers to treat patients with whatever medication is available at the dispensary room.

Ukin says, some patients were also given open referrals to seek medical treatment from Ningerum Health centre, Rumginae rural hospital or the Catholic Mission health centre in Kiunga.

He encourages local residents to apply health and hygiene practices at home to avoid getting any sick. The hospital management team is hoping to receive new supplies by this month.

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