Bana Health Center – 2022

Since my last visit in 2019, Bana Health Center’s staff and buildings have changed, but otherwise life moves on, in many ways the same as it has for thousands of years. Gardens are planted, houses are built, and the main staple food, sago, is painstakingly harvested from the core of a tree.

To read more about Bana Health Center click here.

I was fortunate to be able to go to Bana Health Center again, this time with a team of people including a nurse (Buckley) along with a maintenance crew preparing the new maternity and inpatient wards for their opening.

This post is simply a snippet of pictures of our team’s trip to Bana Health Center in East Sepik, PNG.

Some highlights included:


Two afternoons were dedicated to training the 3 health workers at Bana along with nurses from nearby aid posts and village health volunteers.


Grateful people frequently came carrying gifts of produce from their gardens. The food was fresh and delicious!


Hundreds of patients were seen and treated over our short time.

Some patients included…

A young woman carried for 12 hours on a homemade bush stretcher to receive care. We admitted her mid-week and she was much improved and almost ready to go home as we left.
A 12-year-old boy who had come to the clinic with an Achilles tendon laceration while we were out hiking. Many patients I saw during the week had hands or feet they could not move due to old tendon lacerations, so I’m glad we were there for this boy.
A middle aged woman with a displaced ulna fracture we reduced.
An 8-day old baby that was found in the bush after her Mom delivered and abandoned. Kids from a nearby school found her crying and told their teacher who decided to adopt the baby. She was only 2.5 pounds, and we hope and pray with good care, she will grow.
My colleague, Dr. Mark, donated a rechargeable nebulizer which will be a great benefit to many people including this Papa with emphysema.
A woman with a mass in her side we removed.

Maternity Clinic

It is fun to see the excitement on expectant mothers’ faces as they see their babies on an ultrasound machine screen. Encouragement is given for them to deliver with the very well trained nurses at Bana instead of at their homes.

Eye Clinic

Glasses are a rarity in rural PNG due to both expense and accessibility. Through a unique NGO called Vision Spring we were able to provide eye check-ups and glasses for nearly 100 people. It was my first time holding an eye clinic on a rural outreach. I have to say, it was one of the highlights for me watching people’s excitement in seeing clearly. Having a strong contact prescription myself, it is something I certainly take for granted and can see why people would be so excited.


No trip to the bush is complete without some good hikes. Since we usually started our hikes so late due to how long we worked, we typically didn’t return until after dark.

Children’s Program with a Local Pastor

Limbum Basket

The people of East Sepik remain very much dependent on their natural surroundings. Their homes are made from materials around them. Their food is harvested from their gardens or trees around them. Even their baskets are made from the giant leaves of the limbum tree. Traditionally carried by a woman on their heads, these baskets can hold upwards of 100 pounds of firewood or other supplies. One of the Mama’s at Bana was grateful for me coming and serving her people and I was able to capture some pictures of her collecting the perfect leaves and making the basket from start to finish.

An example of a limbum basket. Bana has some strong women!
The perfect limbum leaves for the bilum
She worked day and night and finished the night before I left.

Thank you Bana, until next time

6 thoughts on “Bana Health Center – 2022

  1. What an incredible journey. Thank you so much for sharing but more importantly for serving. We are so grateful for you, the other doctors, nurses and response maintenence team. God bless you all and all that were helped. May He keep you strong and safe.


  2. God bless you and team for all you are doing. You appreciation and help reflect on the
    faces of the people you help. It is awesome to see. Sending prayers for your continued wok.


  3. That’s Awesome. You’re doing such great work. Thank you for all you’re doing. May God continue to guide you, protect you, provide for you and bless the people & lives you touch.


  4. You are dressed very casual for teaching!!! Great work!!! Continue loving what you are doing and allowing God to work through you!!!


  5. Matt and Tammy… always glad to see the wonderful work you are doing among the people there. I sense God has given you a great love for them. So many are helped !!


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