Access to equitable emergency medical services, whether in the busiest city or the remotest village, is critical to saving to lives. For Peter Babul and his family, this fact quickly became reality, when his sister experienced serious complications after giving birth to her first child.
“My sister fell really ill after giving birth the day before. A village lady had cut the umbilical cord when the baby was born, but the placenta had not discharged,” said Peter.
With a life-threatening situation at hand and living in Munum Village located outside of Lae, Peter said the family started to panic as they tried to find transport to take his sister to the hospital and were running out of time.
It was then that Peter remembered the St John Ambulance 24-hour emergency service available in Lae, with family members immediately making an urgent call – dialling 111 to St John’s emergency call centre.
St John was able to immediately dispatch an ambulance. Quickly arriving on scene, paramedics stabilised the patient before transporting her to hospital to receive the urgent medical treatment needed to save her life.
“It was the first time an ambulance had come to my village. Without it, we would have been lost. St John saved my sister’s life,” said Peter.
Peter’s sister was discharged from hospital a few days later, returning home to have a restful recovery and enjoy precious moments with her new baby daughter, Lulu.
According to Matt Canon, CEO of St John Ambulance in Papua New Guinea, the 24-hour St John public emergency ambulance service in Lae was the first of its kind.
“The service in Lae was launched in partnership with the Lae City Authority and the Morobe Provincial Health Authority, and with support from Newcrest Mining,” said Matt.
“Newcrest provided funding for the local ambulance, enabling us to fast-track the commencement of ambulance services in Lae City; and to provide local and remote communities in the area with easy access to essential emergency medical response and retrieval services.
“The service has been in operation for close to a year now and has been well utilised by the community. In the last four months alone, the Newcrest funded ambulance has responded to over 200 calls for assistance from Lae residents, helping to save lives and make a positive difference to local communities,” he said.