After the attack, Musa was given first aid at the Lorengau Hospital, and then returned to the centre where he and other refugees reside.
But during the day his condition worsened. His friends sought medical assistance at the hospital, but Musa was sent away.
At 8.30pm they contacted a refugee advocate, Anthea, who was able to connect them over the phone to Dr Berger from Doctors for Refugees.
Musa was having trouble breathing. Dr Berger assessed the situation as Anthea and another Australian-based advocate, Lynne, helped arrange support from other refugees in the centre. Anthea describes the situation:
“I asked an Afghani contact in the Transit Centre, with stronger English, to join the men with the injured one so I could get a better idea what was happening. Lynne had asked a Somalian refugee with some medical training to help.
I am deeply grateful to the two refugee men who gave their calm and steady assistance, communicating with the doctor by phone and helping him to assess the situation."
One of the stab wounds in Musa’s neck was severe. He was unable to move his head. His breathing was extremely laboured. The possibility of a pneumothorax (a collapsed lung) was considered, and Dr Berger assessed his condition as potentially life-threatening.
For almost two hours this team worked together — in the East Lorengau Transit Centre, in Port Moresby, and in three locations widely spread around Australia — to assess and assist this young injured Afghani man.
The Somali refugee was able to take blood pressure and other readings and relay this information to Dr Berger. The assisting Afghani man translated information and suggestions back and forth. At around 11pm the team decided they had done all that could be done, and Musa had fallen asleep.
I don’t know what might have happened if Doctors for Refugees hadn’t been able to assist. Will you make a donation today so that we can continue to help people like Musa?
$55 will go towards experienced medical caseworkers, like Dr Berger. A donation of $150 can help us put doctors on call and help more people like Musa in times of emergency.
Anthea wrote at the time:
“The men had asked the local security service for assistance. They said all they could do was take the patient to IMHS when they open on Monday at 9am.
It is midnight as I’m writing this. His friend is on watch, and will call me if Musa deteriorates further, so that I can connect him back to Doctors for Refugees.
We are all hoping he makes it until morning.”
Musa was eventually offered hospital admission on the following Monday morning.
But there are more than 1600 people in our detention system on remote Pacific Islands. Many of the medical cases we review are women, children and sometimes young babies who are seriously ill or injured without appropriate medical care.
<<First Name>>, I know that together we can help them. Please make a tax-deductible donation before June 30.