One of my challenges in caring for the patients here in PNG is to try and understand a little of where they are coming from, what challenges they have, what their cultural beliefs are, etc in order to better care for them.  Through the years, I have learned that where a person comes from can have a big impact on their ability to followup regularly.  Cost of transportation, road blocks, fights along the way can all be barriers to those traveling long distances, so trying to get them to seek care closer to home is sometimes necessary.  Knowing that most people get their water from the river, which is also used by some as a toilet, leads me to talk to patients about boiling water before drinking it, especially if they are having repeated bouts of diarrhea.  I know that one of the ways that people get out of fights or when they are feeling stressed, is to faint and pretend to be unconscious.  When they come to the ER, there is something more important that being given a clean bill of health and sent home, there is a reason they needed to come to the hospital, a reason they needed to escape whatever what going on at home or at school and so sleeping in the hospital for a night, having a chaplain come and talk and pray with them is sometimes the best medicine.   I have learned many things about life in PNG and about the challenges to…
Source: Abandonment from Erin Meier – Asia Pacific

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