PNG WESTERN HIGHLANDS HOSPITAL FORCED TO TURN AWAY PEOPLE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 9, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The outpatient section of the Nazarene Kudjip Hospital in Western Highlands Province has closed its services to non-Jiwaka people indefinitely.

Director of Nursing at Kudjip hospital, John Kolip, said in Port Moresby yesterday that it was not closing its inpatient department as reported by the Post-Courier yesterday.

He said the outpatient department is not open to people from other areas due to a shortage of drugs.

The Jiwaka people are from Jimi, Waghi and the Kambia areas.

Mr. Kolip said Kudjip was a district hospital but many people regarded it as a referral hospital and came from all parts of the Highlands.

"We are a district hospital. We are supposed to be serving people from this area (Jiwaka), but many a times we have people coming from all Highlands areas. They think we are a referral hospital but we are not. We don’t say no to them but we now have a crisis,’’ Mr. Kolip said.

He said they had almost used up their reserve funds to purchase drugs in the past few months, and the hospital could not afford to continue under the present circumstances.

"We can’t afford to go on further. We can only stay open if we concentrate on the Jiwaka people."

PNG MEASLES OUTBREAK COVERED IN KUDJIP

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 9, 2002 – Post-Courier)---The measles outbreak in Western Highlands Province has not affected the majority of children who use the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, says Nazarene health ministry director Joseph Sika.

This view was supported by the director of Nursing at Kudjip, John Kolip, who said although Western Highlands Province was reported to have immunization coverage of only 30 percent, the geographical area using Kudjip hospital had high immunization coverage.

Kudjip district hospital is located 45 minutes by road from Mt. Hagen Hospital, which is run by the government.

Both Mr. Sika and Mr. Kolip are attending the Churches Medical Council annual conference in Port Moresby.

They said their staff had covered their area well by immunizing up to 95 per cent of the children and protecting them against the measles outbreak in the province.

They made the comments when asked why Mt. Hagen had a low immunization coverage rate of 30 percent compared to Chimbu, which has 90 percent coverage.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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