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Stoma Victims in PNG in need of Colostomy Bags

Stoma victims in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have often been overlooked and continue to live and suffer in silence with little to no help at all.
A stoma victim, or an Ostomate, is defined as a person who has undergone a surgical procedure to create an opening in the body that is used to discharge wastes.
Janet Yaki, Founder and Interim President of the PNG Stoma Association, stated that she has become the voice and help for ostomates in the country.
“Being a survivor of colorectal cancer, I never knew there were many others in PNG who were suffering from the similar disability that I have,” said Mrs Yaki.
“Later when I discovered that there were people who had the same condition as me, I founded the PNG Stoma Association and registered it with IPA.”
Mrs Yaki stated that osmates also include babies to children to adults, both males and females.
“A stoma is created when a person has bowel cancer or any inflammatory bowel diseases that cannot be controlled.”
“Babies born with defects are also affected by this so doctors need to create a stoma or opening on the baby’s body.”
She added that some stomas were permanent like hers and that she would have to live her whole life with it.
“My stoma is permanent as I was at stage 4 colorectal cancer, so I will live with it for the rest of my life and die with it as well.”
She said that unlike other people living with disabilities (PWDs), an ostomate’s case was a little bit more difficult.
“Our case is different and more difficult because due to the flow of waste coming out, our stoma has to be changed five to ten times a day as the colostomy bags we use are very expensive.”
She mentioned that the colostomy bags were the appliances used to put over the stoma to catch the waste inside.
“Since these bags are very expensive in the chemist and even overseas, a lot of ostomates have resorted to using diapers, shopping plastic bags and butter containers.”
“When they use all these other things, infections are created because the waste goes and sits around the skin.”
Mrs Yaki further added that the Gold Coast had taken her in as a project in PNG to help other ostomates in the country provide proper colostomy bags for them. PNGFM /PNG Today
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