~ Gaining skills in management ~

The National – By OGIA MIAMEL

IT was a dream come true for the East Sepik and New Ireland lass Florence Kerry, to be given the offer to study in Australia under the Sir Theophilus Foundation scholarship in 2014.

Kerry, a medical laboratory technician with Port Moresby General Hospital pathology unit, always had a passion of one day taking managerial role in a health facility.

The opportunity surfaced in 2014, when she saw the advertisement by the foundation to sponsor two students to do postgraduate master in health services management.

Her application was successful and she was given the chance to upgrade her qualification and to fulfil her dreams. She graduated from University of Papua New Guinea School of Medicine and Health Science with a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science in 2003.

During the same year, she began her residency at PMGH then worked in a private organisation before returning to PMGH.
She worked until she returned for studies and graduated with Bachelor’s degree in 2010.

In 2014, she applied for the Sir Theophilus Foundation scholarship and was accepted. “The scholarship was a blessing as it was something I wished for,” she said. “I didn’t know of this course Health Service Management. It’s still new in developing countries to have professional managers within the health system.

“My sponsor realised that it’s an area that needs developing. There are people around but specific skills and knowledge are needed to be developed so they came up with the scholarship. I am one of the very fortunate ones who have been selected which I am thankful of.

Kerry said her studies helped broaden her knowledge. With her clinical experience and what she has learnt, it will be useful in administrative positions. She hopes to contribute back to the country and one day work in a managerial position.

“I have learnt and seen that our country needs proper managers within the health service. We have issues with health service. We can’t fix everything but we need people who are equipped with the proper skills and knowledge because management is a different field of its own,” she said.

“Having background in health, I have a fair idea of how I can contribute, especially to service development, delivery and improvement of services and lifting the standards of service.”
She and fellow scholarship recipient Joy Manda McKay graduated from Griffith University last week and are back in the country to use their skills and knowledge to contribute to development.

They will be attached with the hospital’s CEO’s office under a two year job training programme before given permanent positions.
The foundation’s mission is to work with government health service providers and private sector partners to improve health services in PNG by being the bridge to fill the gap in human resource shortage.
They have provided scholarship for nursing students in tertiary institutions in the country. The two staff are the first to be sponsored.

PMGH chief executive officer Dr Umesh Gutpa said administrative and managerial skills were needed in any hospital and not just clinical skills.

He was grateful to the foundation for sponsoring the staff.
“They have gained valuable knowledge in professional modern day management skills and they will be working at PMGH to gain vital practical experience.”

~ Thank you Nippon Paint for visiting PMGH ~

Nippon paint staff and management visited sick children in wards 1 D and E at the Port Moresby General Hospital and presented fruit salad lunch packs and dolls yesterday.
Sales manager, Ashvin Sahai said the visit by the paint company was a way of giving back to those in the community that need it the most. “We realize the importance of the community in which we operate our business in, and want to give back during this festive season”.


We are happy to help these sick children at PMGH who won’t be spending Christmas with their families. We hope this little gift and our visit will put smiles on these children’s faces, Mr. Sahai said.

~ Fincorp gives early Christmas gifts to sick children at PMGH ~

The Port Moresby General Hospital received a welcome visit from Fincorp and Santa Claus last Friday. Adam Hughes, who is the Head of Credit for Fincorp was dressed in Santa Claus attire with his team and gave early Christmas presents to every child in the children’s ward at PMGH.

Mr. Hughes said it was a great opportunity to visit this special group of children recovering at the hospital. He was sad to hear that more than 100 sick children would be spending Christmas day at the hospital. The team delightedly spend some moments with every child in the ward.

“Fincorp is very proud of being a corporate citizen and certainly doing the right thing in the community, and when we approached senior management with the idea of visiting the children’s ward, they were thrilled.”

“For me, personally, to come and spend few moments with the sick children at the ward makes me think of my children back in Australia. “I hope the smiles that we brought to these children’s faces will contribute to their recovery at the hospital so that they can spend another Christmas with their families at home,” Mr. Hughes said.

The team was blessed and thankful to PMGH for the visit.

~ Sister Budari – “I want to make sure mothers and their babies are happy and healthy.” ~

Nurse Sister Budari joined the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of Port Moresby General Hospital in 1989 after graduating from Rabaul School of Nursing, in East New Britain province. She realized her passion for taking care of those in need while looking after her dad at home who has asthma; this then inspired her to take up nursing as a profession.
She loves taking care of mothers and their babies in the post natal ward at PMGH and has noticed major improvements in the hospital. “ward 11 feels like a second home”. Sr. Budari has worked as a nurse for 27 years and has specialized in midwifery for 21 years. “I love being a midwife because I care for both mothers and babies. Women are key to life, If there are no women, there are no babies, no human beings, no population and there is no country”.

~ Thank you TEMIS for bringing a little Christmas cheer to PMGH ~

A group of students from Ela Murray International School involved in the TEMIS Serving Others Committee visited the Port Moresby General Hospital on Tuesday this week and presented the children with early Christmas Gifts.
Nine students led by their teacher, Colleen Gabriel and admin assistant, Sylvia Kotapu visited all children’s wards at PMGH and put numerous smiles on sick children’s faces.
PMGH CEO, Mr. Grant R. Muddle thanked the students for the visit.” It was heartening to see children in the community supporting the less fortunate and sick/injured, leading into the festive period”.
The school thanked the hospital for allowing the students to spend some time with the children, a little Christmas cheer goes a long way.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – World AIDS Day, 1st December 2016 – Part 3 of 3 ~

Top Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Getting HIV or STD’s.
1. Always Practice Safe Sex: When used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV. They are also effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that are transmitted through bodily fluids, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, they provide less protection against STDs spread through skin-to-skin contact like human papillomavirus (genital warts), genital herpes, and syphilis. Have condoms handy if you will be having sex and make sure you know how to use them correctly.
2. Use Lubricant: Condoms should always be worn and used with a water based lubricant which helps prevent condoms from breaking.
3. Get Tested Regularly: (even If you are in a monogamous relationship) and encourage your partner to do the same. If you are not at high risk for getting HIV or any STD (not having sex regularly), it is still important to get tested. Always get tested before starting a new sexual relationship and encourage your new partner to do the same.
4. Avoid Sexual Activity: If you feel you are unable to have sex safely, you should avoid all sexual activity as you may be putting yourself or others at risk. If you are unsure if you have HIV or an STD get tested. If your test has returned positive make sure to listen to your doctor’s advice on treatment and make sure you have the all-clear from your doctor before resuming sexual activity.
5. Have Sex Only Within a Mutually Monogamous Relationship: Two people who have sex only with one another don’t have any opportunity to bring a new STD into the relationship. If you and your partner have been tested and are healthy, remaining faithful to each other is a very good way to reduce your chances of contracting an STD. It is important to be comfortable talking about safe sex with your partner.
6. Never Rely on the Withdrawal Method: Pre-ejaculate of an HIV-positive man may transmit the virus, always use a condom.
7. Only Use Safe Injecting Equipment: Using unclean or sharing injecting drug equipment is one of the most efficient ways of transmitting HIV.
8. Don’t Drink or Use Drugs Before Having Sex: It’s difficult to make responsible choices about your sex life if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol. When you are under the influence, you are more likely to choose to have sex with someone you wouldn’t otherwise have picked as a partner, and less likely to be able to successfully negotiate safer sex.
11. Be Comfortable Saying No!!!!: You should never have sex unless you want to. Get comfortable saying no. If you don’t feel it is right, that’s ok. It’s your choice to say yes to sex, and it’s also your choice to say no. Similarly, if your partner tells you no, listen.
12. Be Responsible for Your Own Protection: It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. If you’re going to have sex, you should be prepared. This is not only a matter of emotional preparation but practicality. Bring your own safer sex supplies. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll have extras. If you are unsure how to use these correctly talk to your doctor.
Remember: Can you use two condoms for extra protection against STD’s and Pregnancy? No, you should never use more than one condom at a time. Using two condoms actually offers less protection than using just one. Why? Using two condoms can cause friction between them, weakening the material and increasing the chance that the condoms might break. No other method of birth control is as successful at protecting people against sexually transmitted diseases as a condom so always use a condom if you are having sex but always only use one at a time.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – World AIDS Day, 1st December 2016 – Part 2 of 3 ~

HIV/AIDS Symptoms
You cannot rely on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV, the only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your status is important because it helps you make healthy decisions to prevent getting or transmitting HIV. The symptoms of HIV vary, depending on the individual and what stage of the disease you are in: the early stage, the clinical latency stage, or AIDS (the late stage of HIV infection). The below from AIDS.gov is some of the symptoms that some individuals may experience in these three stages. Please note that not all individuals will experience these symptoms.
Early stage HIV: Some people may experience a flu-like illness within 2-4 weeks after HIV infection. But some people may not feel sick during this stage. Flu-like symptoms can include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and mouth ulcers. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. During this time, HIV infection may not show up on an HIV test, but people who have it are highly infectious and can spread the infection to others. You should not assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses. And some people who have HIV do not show any symptoms at all for 10 years or more. If you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test. Most HIV tests detect antibodies (proteins your body makes as a reaction against the presence of HIV), not HIV itself. But it takes a few weeks for your body to produce these antibodies, so if you test too early, you might not get an accurate test result. Talk to your doctor about your result and talk about your treatment options if you’re HIV-positive or learn ways to prevent getting HIV if you’re HIV-negative. You are at high risk of transmitting HIV to others during the early stage of HIV infection, even if you have no symptoms. For this reason, it is very important to take steps to reduce your risk of transmission.
Clinical Latency Stage: After the early stage of HIV infection, the disease moves into a stage called the clinical latency stage (also called “chronic HIV infection”). During this stage, HIV is still active but reproduces at very low levels. People with chronic HIV infection may not have any HIV-related symptoms or only mild ones. For people who aren’t taking medicine to treat HIV (called antiretroviral therapy or ART), this period can last a decade or longer, but some may progress through this phase faster. People who are taking medicine to treat HIV the right way, every day may be in this stage for several decades because treatment helps keep the virus in check. It’s important to remember that people can still transmit HIV to others during this phase even if they have no symptoms, although people who are on ART and stay virally suppressed (having a very low level of virus in their blood) are much less likely to transmit HIV than those who are not virally suppressed.
Progression to AIDS: If you have HIV and you are not on ART, eventually the virus will weaken your body’s immune system, and you will progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the late stage of HIV infection. Symptoms can include: rapid weight loss, recurring fever or profuse night sweats, extreme and unexplained tiredness, prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck, diarrhoea that lasts for more than a week, sores of the mouth, anus, or genitals, pneumonia, red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids, memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders.
Testing and Treatment of HIV
Testing for HIV is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV, many people do not have any symptoms and can live for many years without knowing they have the virus. Testing for HIV is quick, easy, painless and confidential. It important that while you wait for your test results that you do not engage in any sexual activity as your results will only be current from the day you were tested. A positive result can lead to feelings of shock, anger, distress and depression, talk to your doctor about making an appointment with a counsellor to discuss your result. If your test is negative talk to your doctor to make sure you continue taking the right preventative measures. HIV is treated using a combination of medicines to fight HIV infection called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART isn’t a cure, but it can control the virus so that you can live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others. ART is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long they’ve had the virus or how healthy they are. If left untreated, HIV will attack the immune system and eventually progress to AIDS. It is important that the medications prescribed by your doctor are taken exactly as prescribed (right time, right amount, and right way). If you are unsure you’re are taking your medications correctly talk to your doctor.
We will be posting more useful information on HIV/AIDS tomorrow. Please check back soon.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – World AIDS Day, 1st December 2016 – Part 1 of 3 ~

Welcome to another health update from the Port Moresby General Hospital. With World AIDS Day this week on the 1st December we would like to share with you some information on the importance of safe sex, HIV testing and the global impact of HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.
Global HIV Statistics from UNAIDS:
– 18.2 million [16.1 million–19.0 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy (June 2016)
– 36.7 million [34.0 million – 39.8 million] people globally were living with HIV (end 2015)
– 2.1 million [1.8 million – 2.4 million] people became newly infected with HIV (end 2015)
– 1.1 million [940 000 – 1.3 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses (end 2015)
– 78 million [69.5 million – 87.6 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic (end 2015)
– 35 million [29.6 million – 40.8 million] people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic (end 2015)
For more information, head to http://www.un.org/en/events/aidsday/
What is HIV/AIDS?
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects cells of the immune system, destroying or impairing their function. Infection with the virus results in progressive deterioration of the immune system, leading to “immune deficiency.” The immune system is considered deficient when it can no longer fulfil its role of fighting infection and disease according to World Health Organisation (WHO). Infections associated with severe immunodeficiency are known as “opportunistic infections,” because they take advantage of a weakened immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a term which applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection. It is defined by the occurrence of any of more than 20 opportunistic infections or HIV-related cancers. According to UNAIDS approximately 36.7 million [34.0 million – 39.8 million] people globally were living with HIV (end 2015). HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse (vaginal or anal), and oral sex with an infected person; transfusion of contaminated blood; and the sharing of contaminated needles, syringes, surgical equipment or other sharp instruments. It may also be transmitted between a mother and her infant during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Its important to remember that HIV is not spread like airborne viruses such as the flu and cannot be passed on by hugging, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing or by sharing toilets, eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV. Only certain body fluids: blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. Most commonly, people get or transmit HIV through sexual behaviours and needle or syringe use. The presence of other sexually transmitted infections increases the risk of HIV transmission which is why regular condom use and STD testing is important. Everyone has a mutual responsibility to protect each other not just from HIV but from other STD’s. Always practice safe sex and talk to your doctor about your HIV risk.
Remember: Tuberculosis (TB) is the most common presenting illness among people with HIV including those who are taking antiretroviral treatment. Talk to your doctor at your local urban health clinic about TB testing if you are HIV positive.
Risk factors
Behaviours and conditions that put individuals at greater risk of contracting HIV include:
– having unprotected anal or vaginal sex;
– having another sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and bacterial vaginosis;
– sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment and drug solutions when injecting drugs;
– receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions, tissue transplantation, medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing; and
– experiencing accidental needle stick injuries among health workers.
We will be posting more useful information on HIV/AIDS over the next few days. Please check back soon.

PMGH ends its Heart-Felt program for 2016 in farewelling CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle ~

Port Moresby General Hospital ends its heart-felt program 2016 together in farewelling a proud outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Grant R. Muddle.
and his beautiful wife Ms. Anna Megueria; who is the coordinator of Corporate Blood Drive and Youth Blood Drive who had made a great difference in blood collections at the blood bank. Both were escorted by Kairuku dancing group to the celebration arena.
On behalf of the hospital staff and management, the human resource team when opening the program, thanked Mr. Muddle for his efforts and everything that he has done to lift PMGH to a global standard hospital. The last three and a half years have seen a tremendous change at PMGH.
Executive Director Clinical Services, Dr. Umesh Gupta, said there is so much that can be said about Grant, CEO. “Everyone has been touched by Grant in many ways. I have personally learned many things from Mr. Muddle in the last two-half-years at PMGH, and I’ m sure the entire management has learned a lot of good things from him as well, and we hope to continue the legacy that he will leave with us. Grant! Thank you so much, really from the bottom of our hearts,” Dr. Gupta said.
On behalf of the medical services, Director Medical Services, Dr. David Mokela extended a very sincere thank you to Mr. Muddle for taking the lead in developing the hospital, and there’s been a significant change in the last three and a half years, and we greatly acknowledged that. “Thank you for taking a stand in a lot of issues going on in tackling health in PNG especially, PMGH so, thank you once again Grant, and Anna for your support including the blood bank,” Dr. Mokela said.
Director Nursing, Sister Carol Hosea on behalf of the nursing services farewelled and thanked Mr. Muddle for his leadership. “Your leadership has reflected a lot of improvement in this hospital, although you were a bit tough that has made us strong and to make the right decisions for correct purposes, and we would like to say thank you for that.”
As part of our appreciation and token of gratitude for his leadership in this hospital, the nursing division presented with Mr. Muddle with billums made of PNG colours. The general services team presented gifts of shell necklaces and a small kundu drum with billums to Mr. Muddle. The program was also entertained by another dancing group called Moriare from East Kerema in Gulf province who sang a farewell song to Mr. Muddle and his family. 
Various employees were also recognized this month and presented with certificates. Mr. Muddle presented employee of the year award to IT specialist Mr. Veali Vauna and cut two cakes-one for November staff birthdays and one as a farewell to CEO Mr. Muddle.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Dangers of Smoking – Part 3 of 3 ~

Top Tips On How to Quit Smoking
It’s never too late to quit smoking; these tips are from various research groups and have been identified as the best tips to quit smoking:
– Quitting is different for everyone, so find an approach that will work for you. This may be either the cold turkey approach (stopping suddenly and totally) or a more gradual reduction in the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. Set a date to quit, and stick to it, however, make it sooner rather than later. Every cigarette damages your health.
– Get as much support as you can from family, friends and work colleagues. Let them know you are planning to quit and ask smokers not to smoke around you or offer you cigarettes. Quitting with a friend can also be an excellent idea this enables you to share your feelings and encourage each other to quit.
– Throw out all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters and anything else that might remind you of smoking.
– Wash your clothes and clean your car and home to remove the smell of smoke.
– Nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches or chewing gum, could be a good idea for those who smoke heavily or who feel they may need the extra help. There are also oral prescription medicines you can take on advice from your doctor. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
– Plan ahead for situations in which you are likely to be tempted to smoke such as parties. Try to avoid these situations in the early stages of your quitting program.
– Write down all the reasons that made you decide to quit smoking, and carry them with you in case you need reminding!
– Avoid alcohol as many people find it hard to resist smoking when they drink.
– If you find you are losing motivation to quit, remind yourself of the many medical benefits of quitting! For example: did you know that after 1 year of quitting smoking your risk for coronary heart disease is about half that of smokers.
– Think of the financial benefits! Have you considered how much money you could save by quitting smoking and being a non-smoker? Cigarettes cost money, and the cost is increasing all the time. What could you do with all the extra money?
Keep the following 4 Ds in mind when you have a craving:
Delay: Remember that the worst cravings last for only a few minutes and will become even less frequent the longer you have quit.
Deep breathe: This should help you relax and focus your mind on something else.
Drink water: It is a good idea to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the nicotine and other toxins out of your system.
Do something else: You could go for a walk, to the movies or visit a supportive friend. Try eating an apple, chewing gum or cleaning your teeth when you would normally have a cigarette. You could hold something else, such as a pen or beads to replace the need to hold a cigarette.
Tip: Start exercising after you quit smoking! Exercise will not only act as a distraction from smoking it will release endorphins (the feel-good chemicals in your brain). This will also assist in creating new routines, help reduce nicotine cravings and get you on the road to better health. Remember that some activity is better than no activity but, before you start, it is advisable to discuss your physical activity plans with your doctor.
Missed parts 1 and 2? Head to the PMGH Facebook timeline and scroll down.