Being able to go to the hospital at night requires a proverbial blade, its attachment and a handle. Practically speaking we need drivers, cars, petrol, guards and radio operators to make it happen. We need nurses on duty, who first discover something is wrong. We need logisticians who ensure there are generators to give light to the hospital at night. We need non-medical team members to also order key medications that I or other medics might prescribe at night. We need a coordination team in the capital to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Health that we can work here in Amtiman. And we need donors and supporters who generously give to make all of this possible.
Late at night we need a doctor. But we need a lot more too.
Tari – a rural, little town in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands has become my home for the next nine months. Here MSF runs an emergency surgical program and a Family Support Center, my work place, where survivors of domestic and sexual violence receive medical and psychological care. The level of domestic and sexual violence in PNG is epidemic. Official data is hard to obtain due to lack of research, but it is estimated that around 70% of all PNG women face physical abuse during their lives. Around half of PNG women are raped in their lifetime. The numbers are horrific, and the numerous individual fates feel overwhelming.