December 19, 2006

Research assistant

I need a research assistant! Can anyone help me out with the Tiwi word for European/whitefella/munanga?

December 18, 2006

what's Ngukurr like?

I went to a party in Darwin on Saturday nite and there were a few Important People there. While mingling and making small talk I was asked a few times, "What's Ngukurr like?". I found myself completely incapable of giving a decent answer.

Any suggestions appreciated... I just don't know how to answer that question...

December 11, 2006

bad health

It's common knowledge that health in remote communities is in a bad state. Good then, to read a couple of stories calling for action. Read this and this.

There's no doubt that this mob here aren't very well off when it comes to health care. Just today, one of the language workers came to me cranky because he went to the clinic and the big blister on his foot from a scalding wasn't treated. Later, another of the language workers nearly collapsed in pain and has been at the clinic all day. He'd been scheduled in for an urgent colonoscopy and gastroscopy but of course the process takes a couple of weeks and he has to have it done 320kms away in Katherine. He's really quite sick now and me and all his family are very worried.

But how much can you expect when there's only two nurses here today. That doesn't seem like much for a community of over 1000. And there's no doctor here til tomorrow.

I don't know anything about health care but would a regular town of over 1000 have a permanent doctor stationed there? Would a town of over 1000 with such major health problems have a doctor permanently stationed there? There just doesn't seem to be much of an investment in health here to try and improve the situation. And it's not just more money for white nurses and doctors, it's investing in health education, training local people in health and investing in traditional health practices such as bush medicine. It can be done, but doesn't seem to be happening.

The ABC article is right - for a wealthy country, there's no reason why things should be the way they are out here.