Successful rural physio clinic

A major physiotherapy clinic, held at the remote Bundi in Madang Province, has been hailed a major success.

On December 5th, a 17-member medical team from Simbu saw a total of 260 patients and referred 107 patients.

Of these, six patients were referred to remote Brahman Health Centre in Lower Bundi, five to Gembogl Health Centre in Simbu and 97 to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Simbu Provincial Hospital in Kundiawa.

The team conducted a major rural outreach medical program at Snow Pass, Bundi, in partnership with Kumura Foundation, a local community-based organisation (CBO) of Bundi.

Patients came from all over Bundi – both Upper and Lower Bundi. Some walked for three days to get to Snow Pass. Two patients from Bundikara village, about 4 kilometres down from Snow Pass, were carried on makeshift stretchers up to Snow Pass to be seen by the physio team.

Although it was communicated clearly to the villages of Bundi that only patients with bone problems should come, patients with all sorts of diseases flocked in. Other than osteomyelitis, bone fractures, arthritis and patients with chronic bone problems, the team also attended to patients with cancer, teeth, eye, tooth, ear, trauma, fire burns, hernia, mendibular cyst, testicular issues and many other health problems.

The team ran out of medical supplies and worked from 8am till 8pm. This was the first time the area witnessed a fully dedicated physio team from a general hospital visit them.

Of the 107 referral patients, five acute cases will be transported by Kumura Foundation to Gembogl and to SJNM Simbu Provincial Hospital at Kundiawa this week with the help of the Sir Brian Bell Foundation.

The team was from the Physio Department of the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Simbu Provincial Hospital.

It consists of five registered physiotherapists from the hospital, one physio technician, three residents and five third year physiotherapy students from the Divine Word University. The students have been doing their last 10 weeks of training at the hospital.

The group was also joined by Willie Gene, the disease control specialist of the Kundiawa-Gembogl District Health Services, including three others.

Joe Kombeng, Officer-in-Charge (OiC) of the Physio Department at the hospital, said: “I am very happy with our weekend at Snow Pass. Our initial plan was to take our trainee students out to cap off their 10 weeks of training at the hospital, but we wanted to incorporate this outreach program because chances are, these students will never return here again so they can apply their clinical knowledge in such a rural setting”.

Sieland Banda, a physio at the hospital commented that “sometimes we have to be pushed outside our comfort zone and this is a good learning experience for our trainee students”.

“It ends off their 10 weeks of training at the hospital in a very colourful and memorable way.”

“The organising committee organised 18 houses at Snow Pass to lodge the patients for two nights (Dec 4-5) and fed them during their stay for the clinic. It is such an amazing community effort to experience change and help the people of Bundi,” said Vincent Kumura.

“The team was hosted by Kumura Foundation at Snow Pass Eco-lodge for two nights. They returned to Kundiawa on Sunday December 6th.

“Overall, the program was a great success. On behalf of the foundation, we are very thankful to the Sir Brian Bell Foundation, Simbu Provincial Health Authority (SiPHA), Kundiawa-Gembogl District Health Services, Snow Pass community, the organising committee and the local cultural groups who performed at the welcome program on Friday December 4th for supporting this program.”

Press release