The family travels a week on foot to seek medical assistance

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BY GRACE AUKA-SALMANG

Five-year-old Peter Elijah, his parents and other family members continue to walk back to the road for emergency treatment at Modilon General Hospital.

However, according to Peter’s grandfather, Daniel Maire, Modilon Hospital unfortunately does not have the capacity to carry out the operation on his eye after he developed a growth two years ago.

In an interview with the Post-Courier yesterday, Mr Maire said that Peter and his parents are from Nahurawa village in the hinterland of Raicoast district in Madang province and that “my grandson is in desperate need of surgery as his condition is getting worse day by day.”

According to the country’s medical experts, it would be a typical case of retinoblastoma (tumor of the retina) of the eye which is a frequent cause of death in children of his age.

“Over a week ago, Peter and his parents left their village for the provincial hospital in the hope of receiving medical treatment,” Mr Maine said.

“They were unfortunately told that there was no specialist for this kind of condition.”

According to Mr. Maire, the poor state of the roads from which many died forced them to travel this distance just to access the health services of the provincial hospital.

He said following the call for urgent medical help which went viral on social media this week; the family has received positive feedback from within the country and from abroad as well.

Yesterday, when Post-Courier contacted Mr Maire, he said that after leaving Peter and his parents a week ago, he had returned to Ramu.

“Right now, I’m waiting for Peter and his parents who are still on their way from their village.

“I have sent word to the village councilor advising the parents to get Peter down so we can bring him to Modilon General Hospital for a doctor to make a referral for little Peter to be referred to the hospital. Port Moresby General Hospital to undergo a CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), surgery and chemotherapy.

“For them to reach Ramu, they will need two days of walking, climbing mountains and crossing rivers.

“However, if the river is in flood, then it will take three days to reach the road.

“I hope they will arrive in Ramu by Friday or Saturday. My grandson desperately needs surgery,” he said.

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