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 L'article sur Post Courier

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Nombre de messages : 105
Date d'inscription : 29/05/2006

MessageSujet: L'article sur Post Courier   Mar 30 Mai - 22:22

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In bed and nowhere to go

A Young man from Morocco, in North Africa has been lying in the Port Moresby general hospital’s inter mediate ward (Ward 8 ) bed for the past nine years. He is paralysed and speaks and breaths through an artificial gap crated by PNG doctors below his neck. The sad thing about this man, Lahcen Oulad Elhaj in his early 30s from Tarandant, Morocco is, he was heading for Australia with another male friend but symptoms of a rare disease caught him in Daru . This friend then dumped him at the Daru Hospital and went on his way to Australia. That was the last time Mr Elhaj heard and saw of his friend. The rare disease Elhaj contracted was described by Sister in charge of Ward 8 Rillar Polalau as Japanese Encephalitis, a disease that is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes in Asia. The virus affects the central nervous system and causes severe complications and even death. Severe complication in the nervous system is what the Moroccan man is going through. He is paralysed. He cannot move his four limbs, legs and arms. He could not even speak properly because he is speaking and breathing through an artificial hole in his neck. The interesting question now is, where did Elhaj contract the disease? During an exclusive interview by the Post-Courier, Elhaj said he was travelling from Morocco through to Europe and into Asia. He said he was moving with a male friend. “From Indonesia, we came to Irian Jaya and into Vanimo, PNG in 1998. From there we flew down to Daru on an MBA flight,” Elhaj said. All along, they were working through jungles in the Asian region to avoid major checkpoints and immigrations offices. They were moving illegally through these countries. In a waste bag with what looked like travelling documents, there was an MBA airlines ticket from Vanimo to Daru in 1998. There were also some passport size identification photos in the bag with several other small airlines tickets from Indonesia. These are Elhaj’s only belongings kept by the sister Polalau. There were no visas or any passport. “We were going towards Australia to look for jobs,” Elhaj said. When asked whether they were travelling illegally, he cried, indicating they were and didn’t want to talk about it. Elhaj was transferred to Port Moresby General Hospital (POMGH) in 1998 from Daru and has been there since without paying any fees to the hospital, which costs K80 per night for the bed. Sister Polalau said the Moroccan was in the hospital free of charge for the last nine years and would probably continue to stay their if no one comes and get him. “His hospital fees are paid from PNG tax payers money and the nurses in the hospital feed, cloth and clean him every day,” Sr Polalau said. Sr Polalau said psychotherapists are doing a fine job on him and he is speaking and behaving well. “When he came up from Daru in 1998, he was unconscious and could not move his body or even speak, but his condition has improved but he may not recover.” Social worker Etu Azavu from the POMGH who is dealing with him said they have tried several times over the nine years to contact the Moroccan consulate in Australian but lost contact after several attempts. “I called and even wrote to the Australian High Commission to inform the Moroccan consulate in Australia of the man and the Moroccan consulate responded but never called again or did anything,” Ms Azavu said. She said the POMGH chief executive officer in 2001 Dr Chris Marjen wrote to the PNG foreign affairs office asking repatriation of the Moroccan back to his country but there was no response. When asked if he wanted to go back to his country, he said yes with anticipation in his face. Sr Polalau said if no one comes forward to help him, then he would probably stay in the hospital and die.
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