TB treatment, immunisation needed

A rather bleak picture greeted a rural medical patrol team as they trekked along the central part of the Bismarck Range.

The Kumura Foundation’s ‘Travel2Change’ medical patrol highlighted that tuberculosis and immunisation are two main issues faced by the remote area of Bundi in Madang Province.

The ‘Travel2Change’ medical patrol started walking from Mondia Bridge in Simbu to Snow Pass at Bundi, Madang Province, on Saturday.

Today marks the fourth day of trekking, which saw them set up a rural clinic at the remote Karizokara village of Upper Bundi.

Vincent Kumura of the Kumura Foundation reported that from 9am to 1pm, they served 187 patients and noted that 127 out of 145 children there have not been immunised. This is 88 percent of children from the Karizogo tribe and Mendikara village.

“The people of Upper Bundi, bordering Jimi, Gembogl – Simbu Province, Asaro – Eastern Highlands and in Madang Province, are basically suffering, at this point in time, from basic healthcare services and other regular services from the Government,” Kumura said whilst continuing their trek to Yandera from Karizokara.

“It’s because of the fact that due to heavy rainfall, both sides of the road – from Madang up and Gembogl down – have landslides completely blocking off access for vehicles to deliver basic services to this remote part in the Central Bismarck Range of PNG.

“In any event, when Kumura Foundation came over to the villages and started conducting rural medical patrol with Simbu Provincial Health Authority medical team, we saw a lot of positive responses from the people.”

Part of the team’s aim is also to conduct COVID-19 awareness.

Kumura said his team managed to ease the villagers’ fears regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, saying misinformation and rumours had stopped the villagers’ from seeking medical services at Simbu.

“And it’s perfect timing because we had to clarify those doubts and skepticism and all the rumours. They need access to basic information,” continued Kumura.

“We have 10 more days to reach the border of Jimi and hopefully, we’ll be able to accomplish our goal successfully by treating more than 500 patients and conducting awareness in a lot of villages.”

Carmella Gware