BY GRACE AUKA-SALMANG
The pediatric cancer unit at Port Moresby General Hospital is a special place, where the children need an abundance of health care and love – and it’s heartwarming to see corporate organizations, individuals and the community come to the rescue.
This is according to Lucy Haoda, manager of the Nursing Department of Ward 1E, who expressed her gratitude when she received a donation of children’s items from City Pharmacy Limited yesterday.
“Each year, these two departments help treat a large number of babies and children dealing with a variety of health conditions and different cancers,” she said.
Ms Haoda said that the pediatric cancer ward has 12 beds and 11 staff who work shifts.
“We receive patients from all over the country and it depends on the provincial hospital, whether they have pediatric oncology or not, then those patients are referred to PMGH.
“This has been going on for a few years now.
“Most of them get eye cancer, which is retinal blasphoma, leukemia and other cancers of the major organs in the body.
“If they refer them to PMGH, they will be diagnosed and given drugs to start their treatment.”
She said some children in the cancer ward and the pediatric ward stay for one to two years, depending on their diagnosis and response to treatment.
“We treat them, feed them and entertain them while they are with us; it’s a happy place,” Ms. Haoda said.
She said many of them recover because they come to the hospital when the cancer is at an early stage, while a few of them have died because their cancer is at a late stage.
Ms. Haoda said that in terms of cancer drugs, there is a steady supply, but when supplies run out, new orders are placed in time for the next batch of deliveries.
According to the hospital’s chief executive officer, Dr. Paki Molumi, POMGEN is a large hospital that needs a lot of resources to function and with the budget constraints “we are looking at other ways to support the hospital”.
“That’s why the board of directors of Port Moresby General Hospital has approved Friends Of POMGen as a charity arm of the hospital to fill the gaps that are not being addressed so that we can continue to provide services to our people,” he said. .