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Papua New Guinea has recorded a milestone surgery when local doctors, working at Port Moresby General Hospital’s Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery unit, removed their patient’s cancer-induced voice box (simple total laryngectomy) in 45 minutes.

A proud Dr James Naipo could not hold back how he was feeling about the operation.

On a Facebook post, Mr Naipo said such surgeries usually take between 2 to 3 hours.

“(It was a) Milestone achievement. It may not be a great news. (But for) For my Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (ENT) Department, it is a great news. For post – graduate masters training candidates who assisted, it was a great glimpse of sugery done differently. A great participation and learning for them,” he wrote.

The surgery was done on December 15, 2021.

He said it was done for the first time in Papua New Guinea at Port Moresby General Hospital and perhaps one of the fastest done in the world.

Simple total laryngectomy surgery would normally take 2 – 3 hours. This surgery done is not a great news, it is a surgery that is done by Otolaryngology Head & Head Surgeons in Papua New Guinea and the world. It was a different technique applied at which to arrive at the same but in short time is great news.

Days after the the 2021 – 2030 National Health Plan was launched, the milestone was achieved.

In that, the health workforce has been aspired to be increased to 25,000 by 2030 from the current 12, 000.

“Whilst the progress to reach this number which represents the quantity, it is also our duty to produce the quality in all the cadres of the health workforce,” he said.


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