Health Life News

The late Dr Chris Marjen – a role model

By Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby

One of Papua New Guinea’s pioneer medical professionals was farewelled today in Port Moresby.

Dr. Christian Marjen’s funeral was held in front of hundreds at the Reverend Sioni Kami Memorial Church.

Originally from Opiaref village in the Papuan province of Indonesia, Dr Marjen made PNG his home, and gave a lifetime of service to health in the country.

Family, friends, and former colleagues gathered to pay their last tributes to the late doctor. Some travelled from Indonesia to attend the funeral.

Born on March 5th 1939, Dr. Marjen first came to PNG as a Dutch subject with 13 others. Out of that group, he was one of eight students sponsored and sent by the government of Dutch New Guinea to attend the Papua Medical College in Port Moresby.

During his studies, Dr. Marjen met Vaginama Ware, a young nurse from the Central Province. They married in 1967. The following year in 1977, Dr. Marjen became a naturalized citizen. Next month, Dr. Marjen and his wife, would have celebrated together their 47th wedding anniversary.

He had postgraduate Anesthetic training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. He went on further to obtain postgraduate diploma in Anesthesiology from the University of the Philippines.

He was appointed Senior Specialist Anesthesiologist in 1977 and Medical Superintendent of Port Moresby General Hospital (POMGen) post independent. He became the first PNG Medical graduate ever appointed to these posts at the time.

He spent 10 years in private practice before been re-called to POMGen in 1991 and eventually became the Chief Executive Officer. He finally retired from the Public Service in 2008.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, he was also actively involved in the church. He was described as a dedicated hard worker, a humble person and a role model. 

Dr. Marjen passed away on November 2nd after a short but complicated illness. He was 75 years old. Dr. Marjen is survived by his wife, four children, sixteen grandchildren and one great grandchild.

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