Monday, 22 August 2016

People are dying of curable diseases: A consequence of leadership failure

by SAM KOIM

I recently attended a ‘haus krai’ (funeral) of a loving mother struck down in her prime whilst seeking medical treatment overseas. In conveying my condolences to the immediate family, I posed these resounding questions to the mourners.

Why would our people, who pay a lot of taxes for their government to provide quality health care, dig further deep into their own pockets to pursue this essential service overseas when such should be provided here? Those who have the means to afford are doing so without complaining because it concerns their own lives.


But just imagine the masses who could not afford and are bereaved of their future just because of lack of medical treatment. At times, we somehow attribute the cause of death to sorcery, curse, or God just took his life explanations. We have come to a stage of tolerance, acceptance and passing the blame.

It would cost less than K100,000 to afford a simple Tuberculosis testing machine (GeneXpert –GX4 Machine), that is far less than the price of a Toyota land cruiser. I believe other live-saving medical equipment are less than K500,000. Our resource allocators seem to have a lot of money to spend on buying vehicles, funding bogus projects, even entertainment and sports etc, yet we do not have drugs and medical equipment in our hospitals and health centres. We have some of the best and well trained medical doctors but they are more often demoralized from performing their jobs when they could not save lives from curable diseases owing to the lack of these medical supplies.

In my considered view, I believe it demonstrates leadership divorced from reality –leaders who are vested with the mandate to allocate resources but are themselves untouched by the reality.

Since when was the last time you saw one of our MPs attended medical treatment at Mount Hagen General Hospital? If they had gone to Hagen Hospital, they would know the kind of treatment an average person is receiving. In fact, they don’t. When they are sick, they resort to medical treatment overseas and we the people pay for their expenses.

If the very people who would effect change are instead seeking ready-made services overseas, who else is going to do it? The untimely death of this mother is the consequence of leadership without the seeing eye to see the needs of the people they purport to lead.

Sam Koim..."It would cost less than K100,000 to afford a simple Tuberculosis testing machine (GeneXpert –GX4 Machine), that is far less than the price of a Toyota land cruiser."
Source: Facebook.

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