By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Lae
A Baptist-run health centre in the Obura-Wanenara District of Eastern Highlands Province waits for almost 6 months before receiving their medical supplies. Owena Health Centre of Lamari Local Level Government (LLG) is the only health centre that serves almost eight thousand people. The only three serving nurses at the health centre told EMTV News that the slow delivery of medical supplies have caused suffering and even death on young children, pregnant mothers and the elderly.
The health centre is located in a remote area of Lamara LLG in where it is the only health centre in Owena Village that serves almost 8000 people. There are also four aid posts operating with limited medical supplies; the three officers who work there said they wait for almost 6 months before they receive their medical supplies.
The Government spends over K80 million each year to contractors responsible for the supply and distribution of medical drugs to hospitals, health centers and aid posts throughout the country. The Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals Limited is the company contracted by the Government to supply Medical drugs for Health Centers like Owena. LD Logistics is the company contracted by the National Department of Health to be the national distributor of medicines and medical supplies to hospitals, clinics and rural aid posts.
The Health Officers of Owena Health Centre say the delivery of their medical supply is very poor. According to the officers of Owena Health Centre, infant and maternal issues have been a concern for almost 9 years. There are no basic drugs such as pain killers and antibiotics. The health centre doesn’t even have a steriliser to clean the medical equipment.
During a medevac to the Owena Village on Tuesday by Manolos Aviation, the Lae based helicopter company donated two boxes of basic drugs that were bought in Germany to assist the Health Centre.