Director of the foundation, Vincent Kumura, described it as a “great story for the nation” at the conclusion of their program on the 29th of December.
Trekkers made up of medical officers, community health worker (CHW) students and members of the Kumura Foundation concluded their Travel2Change rural outreach program on the 27th of December in the Ramu Valley plains.
From there, they made their way to Madang Resort, where they set up camp at ‘Sugeng Aben’.
After their capstone review program on the 29th of December, an elated director, Kumura, alluded to the success of the Travel2Change 2021 campaign, saying the unreached received much-needed medical assistance due to the presence of medical doctors on the team.
“They desperately need that kind of basic service and to have a medical doctor physically present where they are, it’s a great story for this nation,” he stated.
“It’s like bringing a hospital to where they are in a remote part of Papua New Guinea because they cannot afford to go to a hospital to get this kind of service. You have medical doctors, you have nursing officers, you have CHWs; all coming together to work as a team to provide basic health services in this campaign.”
Locals came in truckloads during the team’s final two-day stop at remote Karaini.
Kumura said they easily exceeded their target of treating 1,000 patients because people flocked from far and wide when word spread that there were medical doctors present.
“At the last clinic station, we saw about 500 people. That’s where the greater Kurumbukari mining impact area is.
“About four loads of trucks came down from the Ramu nickel mine site.
“We have Landcruisers coming in, Dynas coming in, open-backed vehicles bringing in patients. It took us almost two full days to treat patients out at Karaini.”
Kumura said the seven rural clinics; from Snow Pass, Bundi Station, Numba, Tawiya, Safi, Pendiva to Karaini, were strategically set up to also create awareness on the building of community health posts by the Sir Brian Bell Foundation.
“If in the event that we do go ahead and build the clinic facilities, they’ll have to take ownership; look after the facilities because it’s going to turn around and bless the communities.”
(Locals brave the mighty Ramu River to access basic services)