Why are we there?
- Endemic/epidemic disease
- Health care exclusion
- Sexual violence
This is an excerpt from MSF's 2014 International Activity Report:
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened a project for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in July in Gulf province.
MSF started supporting Kerema General Hospital this year to improve detection rates for TB. The hospital, including the laboratory, was renovated and a consultation room for suspected TB cases was set up. Over 290 people were diagnosed and treated, and patient education and counseling activities were organized. Teams also began to offer diagnosis and treatment to people living in remote areas, some only accessible by boat. MSF and the US technology company Matternet successfully trialed the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the transportation of sputum samples and results between distant health centers and Kerema Hospital.
Sexual, Domestic, Social, and Tribal Violence
Domestic and sexual violence remains a medical humanitarian emergency in Papua New Guinea, with consequences at individual, family, and national level. MSF is working with the health authorities to provide access to free, good-quality, confidential, and integrated medical care for victims.
At the Port Moresby Regional Treatment and Training project, 50,000 people attended awareness sessions outlining the care available to the victims of sexual violence. Over 900 people were seen as outpatients, and there were 265 first consultations for rape. In Southern Highlands province, the MSF team at Tari Hospital performed 1,190 major surgical interventions, and also continued to provide medical and psychosocial care for victims of violence. In June, MSF handed over its maternal and child health project in Buin to the provincial health authorities.
Emergency Intervention in the Solomon Islands
In April, the Solomon Islands were hit by flash floods and landslides. Approximately 10,000 people in the capital Honiara were made homeless, and bridges, roads, and some health centers were destroyed. MSF set up mobile clinics in the temporary shelters, and carried out 1,443 medical consultations. The teams also offered mental health sessions, training in psychological first aid, and monitored potential disease outbreaks. MSF implemented a program raising awareness of sexual violence, which had been planned before the floods occurred. The provision of relevant services in Honiara and Guadalcanal province were also increased.
At the end of 2014, MSF had 219 staff in Papua New Guinea. MSF first worked in the country in 1992.
"He can bash me up badly. He can use iron, knives to threaten me. How can I fight him? He is a man and he has more strength than me.
He called me one time and was threatening me, saying, 'I’ll break your arms, I’ll break your legs.' That evening he came and surprised me and was chasing me around my big sister’s house.
He went to my workplace and my boss told me, 'You’re just new here, and seems like you are facing this problem. You are not going to work.' So I lost my job there.
When I share my problems with the counselors, I feel free, I don’t have a weight on my body. If I can stand in public and tell everyone, it’s good for me. They know I’ve gone through it and it can help them too."