Section: News : Papua New Guinea

BEYOND THE OUTER LIMITS - NOMAD PNG

Beata Ayombe, Veronica Paison and Marie Turner, Daughters of Wisdom

Western Province is a coastal province in southwestern Papua New Guinea, bordering the Indonesian section of the island. The Montfort Family composed of the Daughters of Wisdom, Montfort missionaries and Brothers of St. Gabriel have been present there for over fifty years. They arrived when there were no roads and no service. The challenges were enormous. Lately, the Sisters opened a new mission called Nomad situated far in the bush. Facilities are scarce or inexistent but Nomad begins a new area of apostolate for the Melanesian Daughters of Wisdom. The Sisters are settling and beginning to work with the people at the clinic and at the school. Every day, they face new challenges. After one month of presence in this remote place without road access, their account vividly depicts their day-to-day experience.

Sr. Veronica’s health concerns

Greetings from Nomad! Life is quite interesting here. It seems Nomad is a beautiful place with three big rivers, nice garden food and of course welcoming and friendly people. However in terms of government services, these people are neglected. 

It is very challenging to see how the people survive. For instance, in the hospital there’s no ante-natal clinic but mothers just come to deliver in the hospital to get assistance from two village mothers. There’s no baby clinic and no family planning therefore most children are under five and underweight. There’s no spacing of children and many mothers have 6-9 children at close intervals. My second day in Nomad I attended to a breech delivery. When I arrived at the hospital the baby was delivered on the floor as far as the umbilical cord. When I felt the cord was not pulsating I knew the baby was dead. I have never delivered a breech but I knew what to do and I helped the mother to deliver the dead baby.

I work three days a week in the hospital: Tuesday, ante-natal clinic and VCCT (Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing.) Fifteen mothers came. Wednesday, MCH (Maternal and Child Health) baby clinic and Thursday is for family planning and VCCT. With Sr. Marie, I set up a place in the store room to do VCCT, ante-natal clinic and family planning. Tulo, the only male nurse in the hospital, is very kind and helped me to set up the services.

This morning I met with Catholic mothers to see what their needs were. Nineteen came and we had a lively discussion to prepare the way for Sr. Seraphine*. Saturday mornings, I will start teaching them Tok Pisin, one of the three official languages of the country.

*Sr. Seraphine DW from Madagascar will join the group later as she is presently learning English in the Philippines

Video-Clip : C'est fête en Papouasie

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