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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 23) – U.S. Navy surgeons from the floating hospital USNS Mercy have performed 19 operations daily since they arrived in Madang on Sunday.

Lieutenant Lujan Eugenio said all surgical procedures are being done at the Modilon General Hospital.

Meanwhile, in the pediatric ward, the American navy nurses have been training local nurses, changing dressings for children and teaching them to brush their teeth.

Dr Jimmy Aipit from the Modilon hospital said the children at the ward were suffering from acute birth illnesses. The common admissions are pneumonia, tuberculosis and malaria.

Lt Commander Scot Thornton, a microbiologist helping out in the pathology laboratory, said malaria is a big problem here as indicated by the blood samples they took in the last three days.

He said that they would take blood samples for examination when the ship leaves and will send back the results.

Lt Commander Thornton said that they are also here to learn the common sickness affecting people and to train pathology staff to treat these diseases.

He said they wanted evidence on the illnesses because they are also learning.

Officers were also assigned to examine water and sanitation.

The Mercy has donated medicines, sheets and cribs for the pediatric ward and other supplies for the pathology section.

The US Navy medical personnel said they were impressed with the local doctors, nurses and the hospital.

The US Navy has also painted the outside of the operating theatre.

The floating hospital staff tour will continue on to Bogia where they will observe relief efforts today before the ship leaves tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Mercy yesterday continued its mission with a clean-up of the Madang Modilon General Hospital grounds and treatment of patients.

The day’s routine included operations, treating patients, painting and maintaining buildings. The hospital is looking much better.

A two-hour lecture was also conducted at the Lutheran School of Nursing.

Forty nurses from the Modilon hospital attended the lecture.

USNS Medical Director Ms Comlish spoke on the functions of certain body parts and how a medical officer can detect the signs and symptoms of a particular malfunctioning part.

May 23, 2005

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/


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