~ PMGH setting the standard for Blood Collection in PNG ~

The Port Moresby General Hospital Blood Bank is setting a standard in providing adequate and safe blood to meet the transfusion needs of all patients seen at PMGH.
This transformation came about three years ago, with the establishment of the Corporate Blood Drive and the recent Youth Blood Drive programs, that increased blood collection of the blood bank. With the great support of the hard-working staff, who are the core engineers of the blood bank, the hospital is getting enough blood, reserved for patients in need of life-saving transfusions. This commitment is made possible by the continued support of blood donors from corporate partners, high schools, institutions, colleges and committed individual that visited the blood centre.
PMGH Nurse Sister Matilda Waber has been with PMGH since 2013 working at the PMGH blood bank “I love my work, its enjoying and satisfying, and I see the output of my work, when I see clients coming forward and donating blood, and receiving the health messages, Sr. Waber said”.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Dangers of Smoking – Part 2 of 3 ~

What Chemicals are in Tobacco Smoke?
Here are some of the chemicals you may not have realized are in cigarettes and other ways they are used:
Nicotine: used as insecticide.
Hydrogen Cyanide: used in rat poison.
Acetone: A component of nail polish remover
Acetic Acid: an ingredient in hair dye
Carbon monoxide: Found in car exhaust fumes
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT): A toxic pesticide
Ammonia: used in toilet cleaner
Toluene: found in paint thinners
Cadmium: active component in battery acid
Polonium 210: A radioactive agent used to eliminate static electricity in machinery
Methanol: Automotive fuel
Phenol: used in fertilizers
Butane: used in lighter fluid
Lead: used in batteries
Tar: particulate matter in cigarette smoke
Naphthalene: an ingredient in mothballs
Formaldehyde: used in preservation of laboratory specimens
Hexamine: found in barbecue lighter fluid
Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy
Smoking while pregnant exposes a woman and her unborn child to an increased risk of health problems including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature labour, and sudden unexpected death in infancy. Smoking also affects the development of your baby’s lungs and brain. Every cigarette is doing damage to your baby: The carbon monoxide you inhale replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, reducing the amount of oxygen getting to your baby. The nicotine in cigarettes reduces how well your placenta works, making it harder for your baby to get the oxygen and nourishment it needs. While the best time to quit smoking is before you get pregnant, quitting any time after pregnancy can benefit you and the baby. When you stop smoking you baby will get more oxygen even after just 1 day, your baby will grow better, is less likely to be born too early, you will have more energy and breathe easier and less likely to develop heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and other smoking-related diseases. Talk to your doctor about quitting today.
Is It Too Late to Quit?
No matter your age, quitting smoking improves your health and wellbeing. If you quit smoking, you are likely to add years to your life, breathe more easily, save money also reduce your risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and lung disease. Its never too late to quit! According to Quitline as soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself. Typical benefits of quitting are:
Within 6 hours: Your heart rate slows and your blood pressure becomes more stable.
Within a day: Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.
– The level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
– Your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier.
Within a week: Your sense of taste and smell may improve.
– Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is starting to recover, becoming better at removing mucus, tar and dust from your lungs (exercise helps to clear out your lungs).
– You have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Within 3 months: You’re coughing and wheezing less.
– Your immune system is beginning its recovery, so your body is better at fighting off infection.
– Your blood is less thick and sticky, and blood flow to your hands and feet has improved.
Within 6 months: You are less likely to be coughing up phlegm.
– You’re likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.
After 1 year: Your lungs are now healthier, and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking.
Within 2 to 5 years: There is a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke, and this risk will continue to gradually decrease over time.
– For women, within five years, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.
After 10 years: Your risk of lung cancer is lower than that of a continuing smoker (provided the disease was not already present when you quit).
After 15 years: Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.
Remember: How fast and how well your body recovers can depend on the number of cigarettes you normally smoke, how long you’ve been smoking, and whether you already have a smoking-related disease. Talk to your doctor.

~ Staff gain greater medical experience and knowledge from Specialist Pilipino Nurses at PMGH ~

When the hospital was transformed in 2013, PMGH had recruited a team of Pilipino specialists’ nurses who arrived at PMGH on the 12th of May 2014 to work alongside the established nursing team to improve care and create ‘better health’ to the people of PNG.
Port Moresby General Hospital CEO, Mr. Grant R. Muddle’s goal and objective was to bring in additional nursing staff to improve, maintain and produce a quality health workforce at PMGH.
Currently there are 64 nursing specialists working throughout PMGH in areas such as the critical care department, paediatric, surgical, medical and O&G departments.
Nurse Rosero said working with the local nurses and doctors at PMGH was a great experience for him “It is about working together as a team and giving our best care to improve the paediatric ICU ward of PMGH. Even the parents of paediatric patients are approachable, and they always welcome our health education awareness that we share with them. We feel that we are welcomed, working in PNG. Thank you Pom Gen”.

~ PMGH wins Annual Health Sports Day Shield ~

Port Moresby General Hospital maintained its winning streak and claimed the annual Health Sports Day shield for the second year in a row during the annual challenge last Friday.

PMGH staff sports teams won the basketball and volleyball games against 12 teams from other health organizations within National Capital District some of which included Laloki Hospital, NCD Health Services, National Department of Health and Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL)., 

Annual Health Sports Day coordinator, Johnson George said the event is marked on the health calendar to get the health professionals to engage in fun activities and get to know each other during this yearly event.

Four other health organizations, Laloki Hospital, NCD Health Services and CPHL also received trophies for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place.

PMGH staff teams were happy for the win, their training for the three weeks prior paid off.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Dangers of Smoking – Part 1 of 3 ~

World Health Organization (WHO): Leading cause of death, illness, and impoverishment. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease. Nearly 80% of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development. In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to “green tobacco sickness,” which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.

Smoking – Don’t Put Your Health at Risk
There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use for example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease, and only 27% knew that it causes stroke. Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed. Tobacco use can cause irreparable damage to your health and the health of those around you. Quitting smoking offers immediate and long-term benefits and reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases. Talk to your doctor and QUIT TODAY!

Long Term Effects of Smoking
Long-term smokers are at a higher risk of developing a range of potentially deadly diseases and other health issues including:
– Cancer of the lungs, mouth, nose, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, kidney, liver, bladder, bowel, ovary, cervix, bone marrow, and stomach.
– Lung diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
– Heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
– Poor blood circulation in feet and hands, which can lead to pain and, in severe cases, gangrene and amputation.
– Increased susceptibility to infection
– Stomach ulcers
– Increased Tuberculosis risk
– Increased Type 2 diabetes risk
– Asthma trigger
– Yellow teeth, tooth decay, and bad breath
– Loss of sense of smell and taste
– Increased risk for osteoporosis
– Eye cataracts, macular degeneration, yellowing of whites of eyes
– Coughing
– Early signs of ageing
– Sexual and reproductive organs: lower fertility and increased risk of miscarriage, irregular periods, early menopause, reduced sperm and impotence.

~ Port Moresby General Hospital acknowledges great partners ExxonMobil, Ms. Lynda Babao-Neill, PNG Tribal Foundation and Project C.U.R.E ~

Port Moresby General Hospital CEO, Mr. Grant R. Muddle has acknowledged the generous support of ExxonMobil and Ms. Lynda Babao-O’Neill in partnership with Tribal Foundation and Project C.U.R.E, to have a 44-foot container with medical equipment and supplies shipped from US delivered to PMGH.
Mr. Muddle thanked the representatives from ExxonMobil and Tribal Foundation who visited PMGH and officially acknowledged the delivery of medical supplies. “It is a great support and initiative that such partners have brought great change to Port Moresby General Hospital for the past three years. “I am a proud CEO, seeing the quality health care being delivered, to make a difference not only in the lives of the patients but their families and the community as well,” Mr. Muddle said.
PNG Tribal Foundation President, Mr. Gary Bustin said PNG Tribal Foundation has been assisting PMGH for many years, and the change in the hospital was significant. “You have worked so hard and done so much for the people of Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea in lifting the health care delivery service to another level,” Mr. Bustin told Mr. Muddle.
“Thank you for all that you guys do for the People of PNG, our job is trying to help and support wherever we can, and we can’t do that without the partners like ExxonMobil. “On behalf of the Tribal Foundation, thank you ExxonMobil for your support,” Mr. Bustin said.

~ Thank you for your continued support iSOS ~

The Port Moresby General Hospital would like to say a huge thank you to iSOS for the continued support to PMGH through weekly 1-hour training sessions with the nursing staff at the PMGH Blood Bank every Monday.
International iSOS provides further training on clinical aspects of dealing with blood and ensures the staff at the PMGH blood bank are up to date with screening and bleeding guidelines and have the right information to deal with any scenario during a mobile blood drive or blood collection at at PMGH.
This training helps the staff in maintaining their skills in dealing with donors during blood collections. The International iSOS supports the World Health Organization’s initiatives to act now and prevent infections and deaths from illnesses.
The PMGH CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle Thanked International SOS Manager Mark Delmonte for the support given to the hospital. “On behalf of the Corporate Blood Drive, the Youth Blood Drive, and the Blood Collection Centre, I would like to express our gratitude to the iSOS team for their continuous support. The iSOS team has consistently delivered weekly training to Blood Bank Nurses on topics that were requested by the blood banks team”. Their effort has made a huge difference in the team’s operations and the staff are better informed on blood collections practices.
A special thank you to Rene van den Berg, Shania Bouwer the team leaders and Nurses Vanessa Doubell, Elizabeth Sondlo, Anneri du Plessis, Estelle Joubert, and Lynda Test.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Asthma – Part 4 of 4 ~

Asthma and Exercise
Exercise is great for health and well-being, and having asthma shouldn’t stop you playing sport or taking part in any other activity whether it is for fun or competitively. Don’t let your asthma stop you being physically active, talk to your doctor. The National Asthma Council of Australia states that if you get asthma symptoms when you get active, there are some things you can do:
– Get as fit as possible – the fitter you are, the harder you need to work before symptoms start.
– Exercise in a place that is warm and humid – avoid cold, dry air if possible.
– Avoid exercising where there are high levels of pollens, dust, fumes or pollution.
– Breathe through your nose when you exercise.
– Do a proper warm-up and cool-down.
– Keep your reliever handy and be prepared if your asthma flares up. If your asthma does flare up, don’t ignore it or hope the symptoms will go away by themselves.
– Take action – Asthma symptoms after exercise are common but treatable. If exercise triggers your asthma symptoms, tell your doctor so you can find the treatment that works best for you.
Preventing Asthma Episodes and Controlling Your Asthma
For people with asthma, having an asthma management plan is the best way to prevent symptoms. An asthma management plan is something developed by you and your doctor to help you control your asthma, instead of your asthma controlling you. An effective plan should allow you to:
– Be active without having asthma symptoms.
– Fully take part in exercise and sports.
– Sleep all night, without asthma symptoms.
– Attend school or work regularly.
– Have the clearest lungs possible.
– Have few or no side effects from asthma medications.
– Have no emergency visits or stays in the hospital.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Asthma – Part 3 of 4 ~

How is Asthma Diagnosed?
If you suspect, you may have asthma talk to your doctor. A diagnosis of asthma is more likely if you have eczema or hayfever or have close relatives with allergies and/or asthma, and if your symptoms: keep coming back, or happen at the same time each year, are worse at night or in the early morning, are clearly triggered by exercise, allergies or infections, or improve quickly with reliever medication according to Asthma Australia. The most certain way to diagnose asthma is with a lung function test, a medical history, and a physical exam. However, it’s hard to do lung function tests in children younger than 5 years and doctors must rely on children’s medical histories, signs and symptoms, and physical exams to make a diagnosis. Doctors also may use a 4–6 week trial of asthma medicines to see how well a child responds. In diagnosing asthma, your doctor will ask about your medical history as well as:
Physical examination: During a physical examination your doctor will listen to your breathing and look for signs of asthma or allergies such as wheezing, a runny nose or swollen nasal passages, and allergic skin conditions (such as eczema). Keep in mind that you can still have asthma even if you don’t have these signs on the day that your doctor examines you.
Spirometry tests: Spirometry is the most accurate breathing test for asthma. It measures the amount of air you can breathe in and out of your lungs, and how hard and fast you can breathe out. The machine used to do the test is called a spirometer and tests your overall lung function. Doctors use a spirometer to: check whether the airways in your lungs are narrower than they should be, confirm whether you have asthma, work out how severe your asthma is, see if your asthma is getting worse, see if your asthma is getting better with treatment. The test results help you and your doctor to decide whether you need any medicines, or to work out whether the type or dose of your current medicine needs to change. Most adults and children over 7 years of age can do the spirometry test correctly.
Peak flow test: A peak flow test is done with a peak flow meter. It measures the maximum (or peak) speed at which you can blow air out. This gives an idea of how narrow your airways are. It also shows how much your airways are changing. However, a peak flow test cannot be used to confirm whether you have asthma. Your doctor may ask you to use a peak flow meter to check your asthma at home.
Allergy testing: Asthma is strongly linked with allergies, many people will be required to have allergy testing usually through skin prick or blood (RAST) tests. Talk to your doctor.
Treatment and Management of Asthma
Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): You can control your asthma and avoid an attack by taking your medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to do and by avoiding things that can cause an attack. Not everyone with asthma takes the same medicine, some medicines can be inhaled or breathed in, and some can be taken as a pill. Asthma medicines come in two types—quick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you need to use your quick-relief medicines more and more, you should visit your doctor to see if you need a different medicine. Long-term control medicines help you have fewer and milder attacks, but they don’t help you if you’re having an asthma attack. Asthma medicines can have side effects, but most side effects are mild and soon go away. Ask your doctor or other medical professional about the side effects of your medicines. The important thing to remember is that you can control your asthma. With your doctor’s or other medical professional’s help, make your own asthma action plan (management plan) so that you know what to do based on your own symptoms. It is important to see your doctor for regular check-ups to ensure you are on the right track with your asthma management.

~ Three PMGH staff to undergo Operation Open Heart Training in India ~

Three hard working staff of the Port Moresby General Hospital are thankful to the Operation Open Heart (OOH) Foundation for funding three months of further training in India.

Two nurses, Sister Noelyn Wangi and Sister Jean Boie will undergo cardiothoracic nursing training while Perfusionist and Anaesthetic Technician, Norman Kambo will undergo paediatric perfusionist training.

The three left the country last Saturday to undergo training at Dr. Cherian Heart Foundation in Chennai, South India. Sister Wangi, who works as a senior nurse in the critical care unit of the Port Moresby General Hospital is thankful to the sponsor, for the great opportunity to undergo overseas training for the first time. “It will be a new experience for me to gain new knowledge and I am happy and proud to be part of the training. When I return my goal is to support the cardiac team of the hospital and help improve the cardiothoracic nursing care of heart patients” Sister Wangi said.

Sister Boie, who also works in the critical care unit said it was a great opportunity to expose to new knowledge and experience. “Thank you, Operation Open Heart Foundation, for the great opportunity. I will do my best, and when I come back, I will teach other colleagues what I have learned so we can work as a team to contribute to the cardiac team and improve heart service of PNG”, Sister Boie said.

Technician, Mr. Norman Kambo who has performed anesthesiology for 16 years and perfusion for three years said “when you have a perfusionist it is a complete heart surgery discipline, when performing Operation Open Heart, It is a technical area where a skilled and trained person controls the flow of blood into patient’s body when undergoing OOH surgery with the use of artificial heart and lung machine. In previous years of OOH, the procedure was performed voluntarily by our overseas counterpart. Now it’s time we take over and do it ourselves. I am thankful for this second round of training; it will give me the confidence to perform it myself, and I am prepared to take the challenge, Mr. Kambo said.