For the 2nd straight year the Bana Rural Health Clinic has had the opportunity to have a Kudjip Nazarene Hospital doctor join them in their work. Last year it was Dr. Susan Myers and a team that installed solar power, did pastor training and church statistics training. This year, Dr. Bill and Marsha McCoy joined the staff at Bana for a week.
Bana is a small village in the Sepik, far away from Kudjip and far away from the nearest hospital. The clinic, with a staff of 3, serves a population of about 15,000, with the nearest hospital over 4 hours away on a very bumpy road. Buckley and Charity and their son Philip, have been serving at Bana since they graduated from the College of Nursing, 3 years ago. Rose, is a Community Health Worker, who also serves along side of them. The three of them serve that community in many ways: seeing the patients who come, giving immunizations, going out on patrols, delivering babies, doing health education and more. Day in and day out, they are the front lines, they are the ones investing and giving their lives to the people in Bana.
For one week in October, Dr. Bill and Marsha McCoy got to join Buckley, Charity and Rose in their work. The McCoys weren't alone, Gabriel and Emelyn Mahisu (Rural Health Services Director), and Bapo (Community Based Health Care Work), DS Yambe and many other supporters of the church came out for this event and for the services held throughout the week. Bill saw patients each day, treating those that needed a doctor's care, teaching Buckley and Charity about different diagnosis and management, and reassuring the patients about the 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 our 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, to give patients a chance to see a doctor that they might never otherwise have the opportunity to see, to connect Kudjip and Rural Health Services more, and to give the doctors a chance to see more of PNG and what lies beyond our station gates.
This was the 4th successful trip, of doctors going out to rural clinics. The first was Dr. Susan in Bana in 2015, then Dr. Imelda went to Dusin in 2016, then Dr. Andy to Ulamagi clinic in 2016 and now Dr. Bill to Bana. As we reflect on these trips and get feedback from the doctors, the staff and our Rural Health Services, we continue to look for more opportunities and ways to train our staff and encourage those who work beyond Kudjip Nazarene Hospital's 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 in which that 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. These clinics handle the routine and emergent medical care that comes up from delivering babies to treating hypertension, coughs, colds, doing suturing and more. These workers have moved away from their homes and families and are being missionaries in the remote parts of PNG and lives are being impacted for eternity as a result.
In 2016, RHS, like all Christian Health Services, had their budgets cut by 40% from the government. This cut has been devastating to RHS. They don't have the patient volume to use patient fees to account for their deficit, so as a result services are what get cut. For some clinics that means a staff is being cut, for others the number of medicines being sent in is being cut, for others, the clinic itself is facing closure. We would like to not have to close any of the clinic doors, to pay our staff correctly, to be able to have adequate supplies of medicines at the clinic and to be able to medevac patients out to larger hospitals when needed, but without funds it is hard to do all that. We don't know what the budget will look like for 2017, but we know these clinics won't survive if they don't get more funds for next year. Would you consider helping? Would you consider praying about how you might be able to partner with us in serving those who need care in the rural parts of PNG?