Namuga Hospital+61 (2) 6672 4244
Namuga is located in the picturesque far East of Makira Island. It is surrounded by some spectacular beaches, with nearby Nafinua Island and at Mami Village. Slightly further away is Star Harbour being ranked one of the best surfing beaches in the Pacific.
Namuga Hospital (see red roof in above photo), Makira Province is in the final stages of construction with anticipated finish end of 2017. It is cradled in the South by a palm tree clad hillside and in the North surrounded by lagoons making it easy to travel to surrounding beaches and reefs by boat.
There are many surfing spots near to Namuga, with nearby Nafinua Island and at Mami Village (see photo below of Miami Village).
The famous Star Harbour is a 10 minute boat ride down Namuga Bay Estuary then a 3 hour cross country treck to the opposite (Southern) side of the Island. This makes Namuga ideal for overnight visits to these superb beaches but bring sand shoes and necessary supplies including a lightweight board and tent with functioning mosquito screen! It’s a hard slog but the isolated beaches are a unique experience making it worth it. The best surf season is between October and April with the peak between November and March. The regular storm systems that come through at this time of year consistently generate swells from 3-6ft but they can be bigger.
Getting to Namuga is not for the faint-hearted. Flights from Honiara to Santa Ana occur once to twice a week and take 40 minutes. A grass clearing is the Santa Ana airport, with the twin engine Dash 8 the largest plane able to land at Santa Ana airport. It’s then a 30 minute boat ride (in fine weather) to Namuga in a open fibreglass Ray boat (slightly bigger than a pencil boat). A rest house was nearing completion in October 2017, build specifically for medical staff visiting Namuga hospital. It is located at Santa Ana with fresh wind and water views, and offers an excellent retreat from Namuga. Its also a place to stay if the waters are too rough for travel to Namuga.
Travel around Namuga and the surrounding waters is best done in open boat with outboard motor. For any lengthy trip the aluminium “tinnies” shown below can leave your backside sore for a few days, whereas the fibreglass “pencil boats” are a bit more gentle on the backside! The trip from Santa Ana to Namuga is in open unprotected ocean, and the boats have no life-vests, so travellers are advised to bring their own.
Local produce is sold at the markets with the fresh fish catch of the day and local fruit and vegetable produce plentiful.
The plan is for accommodation to be provided to visiting doctors within walking distance of the hospital.
Namuga hospital is 90% complete and includes:
44 patient beds (24 beds in the main hospital and a 20 bed tuberculosis ward and 10 bed paediatric ward)
facilities for radiology, pharmacy, dental and laboratory services
15 permanent staff houses
1 nurses’ dormitory
a generator shed
maintenance and storage area
spring water supply
septic sewerage system
a diesel generator able to be run on diesel or on biodiesel sourced from the local community combined with an ecologically friendly solar power system
STAFF & CONTACTS
Namuga hospital has been the brainchild of Dr Chris Millar (GP from Murwillumbah pictured above), and therefore all enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Chris Millar (Project Manager – Namuga Hospital). After January 2017 all correspondence should be directed to the resident doctor.