Cliniclave 45 Installation in Papua New Guinea | MELAG

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Cliniclave 45 Installation in Papua New Guinea

30.03.2020

Congratulations to Ian Hopkins, MELAG Product Manager for Biomedex, who recently travelled to Papua New Guinea to complete the installation of a MELAG Cliniclave 45 steriliser in a brand new hospital.

Funded by the Australian Government, the new hospital was built to prevent people with tuberculosis travelling to Australia to be treated for the disease. Currently, many TB patients in Papua New Guinea travel to the Australian Torres Strait Islands and Thursday Island for treatment, which increases the risk of TB transmission in Australia.

A trip to Papua New Guinea

Having previously installed the same steriliser on a remote Solomon Island, Ian Hopkins was ready for this PNG adventure. “At first I was told that the area was so remote, you had to travel up a crocodile infested river to get there, and that the mosquitoes were unbearable,” Ian said. “It turned out not to be quite like that, but I did have to take all my own bedding, food, tools and toiletries in a backpack – this wasn’t a suitcase-with-wheels trip!”

Upon arriving in Port Moresby, Ian was greeted by his guide, a local biomedical engineer, who accompanied him by light plane to nearby Daru Island. “We had to stay overnight on Daru because the sea was too rough to get back to the mainland where the hospital is,” Ian said. “But next morning we headed off on a pleasant boat trip; the sea was so smooth that it took about half the time it usually does!”

Getting the job done

The pair alighted onto a jetty made out of pallets and helped to unload the boat. “It’s all hands on deck here,” Ian said. “It was much like any building site, except working to a PNG agenda and pace.”

With power and water drainage not ready for the Cliniclave installation, Ian’s first job was to find the builder and plead his case. With only two days at the hospital, timing was important. “By the second afternoon the unit was running with the German efficiency we expect from MELAG,” Ian said. “I completed the test cycles, checked services and the job was complete.”

The adventure is not over yet

After one last night at the hospital, Ian prepared to make his way first by boat back to Daru, then by plane to Port Moresby. “Lining up flights that rarely run on time with booking boat rides with locals quickly becomes a test of patience,” Ian said. “You have to rely on locals finding you a hotel on Daru – which don’t exist on Google!”

Looking to the future

Making the effort to travel to this remote location and personally install the Cliniclave 45 puts Biomedex in good stead to become a preferred supplier for upcoming projects – which Ian has been promised are not so remote! “The local Rural Health officials were impressed and informed me there are a further six projects in planning,” Ian said. “Although they will likely be easier to get to, we’re looking to train the biomedical engineer I travelled with so we have a local specialist there too.”

Don’t count Ian out of the travel though, although it was tough – and took six days to complete what would usually be a one-day job – the experience was worth it. “Seeing how local villagers live and work makes me appreciate what I have,” he said. “The mosquitoes are horrendous, food is whatever you can carry and living is very basic, but what a great trip.”

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