Papua New Guinea: Imagine moving from your family and things familiar, to one of the most remote areas in the world? Your training is as a nurse and you are responsible for the care of some 15,000 people living in that remote area. Further imagine that the closest hospital is more than 4 hours away over roads that can be many times…impassible. No day is the same. You see everything from regular immunizations, treating minor wounds, to delivering babies and massive injuries that would make a doctor sweat!!! But you do it…because you are called to serve as the tangible hands and feet of God… To serve in places where others might fear to tread!
The Rural Health Services (RHS) teams don’t have to imagine… this is their daily life, their calling and ministry. Meet Buckley, Charity, and Rose! This team of three has been serving at Bana Rural Health Clinic. Buckley and Charity graduated from the Nazarene College of Nursing just three years ago. Rose is a Community Health Worker. Together, day in and Day out, they are on the front lines, investing and giving their lives to the people of Bana.
Now imagine how excited they (or you) would become when a doctor comes to visit? Finally, someone to share the load with, and from whom you can learn more skills so that you can better serve your patients! This was the case in October, when Dr. Bill and Marsha McCoy traveled to Bana and joined Buckley, Charity and Rose.
The McCoys weren’t alone, Gabriel and Emelyn Mahisu (Rural Health Services Director), and Bapo (Community Based Health Care Work), District Superintendent Yambe and many other supporters of the church came out for this event and for the services held throughout the week. Dr. Bill saw patients each day, treating those that needed a doctor’s care, teaching Buckley and Charity about different diagnoses and management, and reassuring the patients about the quality treatment they were receiving at the clinic by Buckley, Charity and Rose.
The visit was an encouragement to many; the patients, the Bana staff, the village of Bana, to the church, to Rural Health Services, to the McCoys and more. Encouraging our staff is one of the reasons why we started sending doctors out to serve with the staff in our rural clinics. Other reasons are to provide teaching and training to the clinical staff that will last beyond the doctor’s time there (medical multiplication), to give patients a chance to see a doctor that they might never otherwise have the opportunity to see, to connect Kudjip Hospital and Rural Health Services more, and to give the doctors a chance to see more of Papua New Guinea and what lies beyond our station gates.
Kudjip Nazarene Hospital serves over 60,000 outpatients a year, but there are many more patients that are seeing, hearing and being shown the love of Christ beyond the gates of Kudjip. Rural Health Services is the avenue through which this happens. RHS has 6 clinics in remote areas of PNG that are staffed by dedicated Nursing Officers and Community Health Workers who often are the only medical personnel in their small communities. They are medical missionaries in the truest sense, going outside of their comfort zones to care for people and to share the message of Christ.
But…there are storm clouds on the horizon…
In 2016, RHS, like all Christian Health Services, had their government grants cut by 40%. This cut has been devastating to RHS. They don’t have the patient volume to use patient fees to cover the deficit, so as a result services are what get cut. For some clinics that means a staff member is being cut, for others the number of medicines being sent in is being cut, for others, the clinic itself is facing closure.
The last thing Nazarene Health Ministries wants to do is close clinic doors. Adequate staffing, medical supplies and medicine, and medical evacuation funds (for when patients must be moved to a hospital for life-saving care) are desperately needed.
Would you be willing to partner in multiplying the medical and Kingdom impact in Papua New Guinea? We don’t know what the government grants will look like for 2017, but we know these clinics won’t survive without adequate funding. We seek your partnership through prayer, and if the Lord lays it on your heart, through funding.
Together with teams like Buckley, Charity, and Rose, you can be part of multiplying the medical ministry and Kingdom impact across the highlands of Papua New Guinea.
More information may be obtained by contacting Gabriel Mahisu, RHS Director, at this link:
—– Dr. Erin Meier – Medical Missionary – Papua New Guinea