22 Oct 2002

Remote medical aid posts in Bougainville short of drugs

4:03 pm on 22 October 2002

On Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Island, staff at medical aid posts have resorted to treating patients with herbal or traditional medicines, because of a severe shortage of drugs.

The Post Courier reports that remote medical aid posts are in dire need of drugs and medical staff and that calls for assistance to the Buka District Hospital have been ignored.

The paper reports that some aid posts have begun fundraising so they can buy drugs, others are using traditional medicines and some have closed down.

The Chief Officer for the Buka Hospital, Raymond Masono, says the hospital comes under the National Health Department and has no responsibility for the medical aid posts as they are administered by the provincial health office.