10 February 2012
Report by MAF pilot Richie Axon in Papua New Guinea
For the past week-and-a-half, the people of Yatoam have been suffering an outbreak of illness that has caused quite a few deaths in the valley. The health officers at the District Headquarters in Oksapmin wanted to get out into the community with workers and medicine.
But the challenge is an arduous 4-day walk through steep mountains and across the wild Strickland River - and how to ensure the workers and medicines get there safely.
When the GA8 Airvan P2-MKK touched down in Oksapmin mid-morning, the 2 medical officers were waiting with their supplies. As pilot Richie spoke to them he learned that the people of Yatoam were suffering a severe outbreak of dysentery. Also waiting was a patient who had come to Oksapmin from Yatoam earlier with an injured leg and after receiving treatment was ready to travel home.
Quickly loading the aircraft and taking off, the turbo charged Airvan easily left the high altitude airstrip with its load and a short 16 minutes later the wheels touched down at Yatoam.
The aircraft had enabled these medical officers and their precious cargo to arrive at the place of need and able to start work straight away.
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