My sister and I are arranging a fundraiser for a hospital she is working at in PNG and I asked her to send me an email outlining the situation. Some of it is reprinted below. If anyone has any experience doing permaculture PNG projects we would love to hear from you. Thanks.
The food issue at Kikori Hospital
Kikori Hospital lies on the Kikori River delta. There are around 100 beds, 50 of which are taken up by patients with tuberculosis (TB). TB is a curable disease, but it requires a long course of antibiotics, in the simplest cases 6 months of therapy. If patients don’t take all the medication, there is a risk of developing multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB). People with MDR TB need to take more medications for longer (24 months) and there are more complications. We try to keep patients with respiratory TB in the hospital for 2 months to ensure that they get the medication correctly; if they have MDR TB, they would have to stay in hospital for a much longer time.
The problem with this is that although the healthcare and medications are free, the hospital does not provide food for the patients. So relatives need to bring in food and they need to cook it themselves. It is OK for people who live in town, but some of these patients come from very far away ( one child with meningitis arrived after 3 days of trekking through the jungle) so it is very difficult for the family to bring food. Also whilst the patient is in hospital and the family is attending them, who is earning money for the family?
For this reason, it can be difficult to keep patients in hospital for the full 2 months of intensive therapy. A secure source of food is needed to feed the TB patients at the hospital- donations to buy rice/sago etc would be helpful, but being able to grow or raise food at the hospital would also be great.