By Carlton Smith, president
As medical care on Christmas Island’s little Ronton Hospital continues, challenges to dispose of its medical waste safely seemed immense.
With the help of Pacific Islands Medical Aid volunteer Ron McDougle from Edom, Texas and some good designs, great planning and hard work, the hospital staff there can now safely dispose of its contaminated waste in a specially designed incinerator using only coconut husks for fuel.
The two week construction project in September was completed with the help of local workers provided by Christmas Island mayor Mikarite from the village of Tabwakea under Ron’s supervision and plans from De Montfort University (www.mw-incinerator.info).
Remarkably, the fire brick incinerator quickly generates temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit with as few a six coconut husks for fuel to start.
“We are amazed … this unique design works great,” says Dr. Teraira Bangao, medical officer in charge on Christmas Island.
Dr. Bangao recommends that this incinerator be replicated at medical clinics and small hospitals on other islands in Kiribati, as well as islands throughout the Pacific where coconuts are plentiful, but electricity and fossil fuel are scarce.
Materials and building supplies for the incinerator were purchased by Pacific Islands Medical Aid in Honolulu and transported to Christmas Island in advance of construction on the sailing vessel Kwai (www.svkwai.com) and aboard the once-a-month air cargo flight organized by retired U.S. Aid for Pacific director Bill Paupe, honorary Kiribati consul, (BillPaupe@aol.com) with all costs paid for from contributions and donations made to PIMA.
Ron McDougle said it was “a great pleasure to be able to oversee such a worthy project with such a successful outcome. I look forward to being able to help more in the future.”
Please Help Support Upcoming Projects
We need help ! Please help support these upcoming life-saving projects.
- The little hospital on Christmas Island needs a reliable anesthetic machine so that our medical teams can perform safe surgeries there. We have found a good used one for $16,000 and can put it in place with your help.
- Many women in Kiribati suffer for months or years with bacterial infections unique to them without diagnosis or treatment. Our Women’s Health Team will return to Kiribati in February to train all local nurses on Kiritimati, Tabuaeran and Teraina how to identify and treat these infections, with the aid of microscopes that we will donate. Please help us buy eight microscopes and speculums; total cost $2,400.
- Early this year, we will send a colorectal specialist and other surgeons to Christmas Island to perform fistula surgeries for several unfortunate young island women who are suffering with this debilitating condition. Please help us pay their way.
- In March, ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Jorizzo from Oregon has volunteered to do about 100 cataract and pterygium surgeries on Christmas Island. Please help us pay his way ..it’s the least we can do. There is no better feeling than to witness a blind patient being able to see the day after surgery… often seeing their grandchildren for the first time.
Please specify what project your donation should support. We pay no salaries and 100 per cent of your donation goes to the project you want.