Chief Dentist and lecturer at the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Matupi Apaio, expressed gratitude for this gift.
“The renovations have come at a moment where we can be able to train, not only in the given prosthesis to the patients but also in surgical patients, rehabilitation of surgical patients, jaw reconstruction, major facial reconstruction process can be done also with the refurbished laboratory.”
Delivering public services is always a challenge, even at this highest medical learning institution. With the laboratory now refurbished, vital specialist equipment is equally needed for successful learning and delivery of dental services.
“So the chairs are not working and so many number of students, with the undergraduate program and also the post graduate program students all using the same so spacing and number of the chairs is always a challenge in the clinic situation.
“In terms of the technical area, the laboratory work has been sorted out so I hope that things will work out well to cater for the influx of students coming in to do the undergraduate program with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and also to cater for the post graduate students.”
Dr. Apaio said the school has trained more than 140 dentists who are now located in all 22 provinces, mostly in the public system but also in the private sector and the Defence Force. But there is greater need for specialist doctors.
“Currently what’s needed in this country is specialist training for specialist dentists and that’s exactly what we are trying to do with the post graduate program here that train specialist doctors for the region.
“And one of the biggest challenges that we are facing in the country is with the increasing number of people chewing betelnut and with mouth cancer on the increase and other congenital defects of the jaw, facial region, there’s a huge need for specialist doctors in this country.”
(Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari visitng the lab with UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences academics)