Julian flies home after world-first eye surgery
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 20 January 2008
Australian Doctors International
Two-year old Julian Inarkombu has flown home to Papua New Guinea, after some emotional farewells to ADI volunteers, doctors and nursing staff from Sydney Eye Hospital and Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.
Julianís journey was first publicised last month, after he successfully underwent the world's first ophthalmic surgery of its kind to correct a rare eye abnormality, Cryptophthalmos, in a unique collaboration involving Sydney Eye Hospital, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick and Australian Doctors International (ADI).
On Sunday January 20, Julian and his father were accompanied by ADI Vice-President, George McLelland on their journey back to Iowara refugee settlement in Western Province, PNG. There he will be reunited with mother, Rosie and his five siblings - including baby brother, Moses who was born while Julian was having treatment in Sydney.
ADI's core business is to deliver urgent medical care and public health programs to communities of critical need in Papua New Guinea. Mr. McLelland will spend the next two months in Western Province, PNG coordinating the next phase of ADI's anti-malaria bed net distribution program in remote areas of North Fly region, Western Province.
Surveys will be conducted of individual families in four remote and difficult to access areas of North Fly who have yet to receive the life-saving nets. Once local needs have been collated, 10,000 bed nets will be distributed village by village.
Mr. McLelland will also begin the next round of mass drug administration (MDA) against endemic lymphatic filariasis to approximately 13,000 residents in the remote Mougulu region of North Fly.
ADI hopes to embark on another significant anti-filariasis program in cooperation with the local Catholic Health centres and aid posts across North Fly.
Malaria is the biggest killer disease in Papua New Guinea and most of its victims are children under the age of 5. Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) is a devastating crippling disease, also caused by mosquitos. In some areas of PNG, up to 80% of communities are infected.