Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The land of the unexpected

Some people have called PNG the land of the unexpected.  I have seen lots of medically unexpected things in my time here from measles to rare medical conditions and very late presentations of diseases. But I also have seen other unexpected things in how people live.  Just the other day, I was on my way to medical ward to start my rounds, when this woman walks down the road pulling her pig.  This isn't the first time I have seen a pig on a leash, but the first time I have seen it right at the hospital.

Pigs are raised not for food so much, but to be used to give away at bride prices, funerals, compensation demands and more.  Sometimes they are eaten for special occasions at a mumu, and often times they are sold.  They can be quite destructive to garden's if they aren't on their leash.  They are more common than dogs, and it seems that most everyone is raising pigs.

Pigs can be carriers of lots of diseases, but thankfully, other than pigbel we don't see too many pig related diseases.  Be careful, you don't want to get close to their mouth, pig bites are often difficult to treat because of the infection that results.  Thankfully, this pig stayed on it's leash and didn't cause us any problems.