This trip was led by general surgeons Dr Michael Buin and Dr Douglas Pikacha and anaesthetist Dr Narko Tutuo (all originally from Western Province, Solomon Islands), and colorectal surgeon Prof Peter Hewett from Adelaide.

This trip was unique from previous trips in that it included a full compliment of eight anaesthetic and scrub nurses, with an emphasis on providing nursing support and education.  It is also the second trip to include a stomal therapist and wound care CNC, with an emphasis, again, on nurse support and education for the management of complex wounds.

Safety was a priority, and all patients were screened and selected appropriately a week prior to the week of operating by senior surgeon  & DAISI member Dr Douglas Pikacha and recently arrived General Surgeon Dr Michael Buin, who had just finished his surgical training in PNG.  The extra compliment of nurses allowed for safe recovery and discharge of patients to the ward after their surgery.

The visiting DAISI team from Australia consisted of one Colorectal surgeon (Prof Peter Hewett) and and stomal therapist (Amanda Summers) both from Adelaide. The rest of the DAISI volunteers were from Sydney: 1 surgical registrar (Dr Amir Ashrafizadeh), 1 anaesthetist (Dr Narko Tutuo) and 8 nurses from Nepean Hospital (Samantha Livings, Hayley Bourne, Georgia Buckley, Georgia Stellios, Mary Sunjic, Amber Haberman, Vanessa Zenzmaier, Kelly Laws).

Local support was provided by Medical director Dr Dickson Boara, charge Nurse Henrietta Jagilly, and registrars Dr Una Gagahe, Dr James Niunimae, Dr Angeline Naqu & Dr Paul Kekou who attended each and every day of operating.

Cases done at Gizo hospital included lumps and bumps (lipoma, sebaceous cysts, abscess, skin and soft tissue tumours) anal conditions (haemorrhoids, fistula, fissure, condylomata, cancer), colorectal cancer, gallbladder stones, hernia, diabetic foot conditions, thyroid and head and neck lumps, minor plastics/facial, ingrown toenail, minor vascular (venous ulcers, varicose veins) sterilisation (male & female).

Cases not suitable for this trip were urology (eg prostate) & gynaecology & major plastics (eg cleft lip).


the DAISI team

The Nursing Team. L-R: Nurse OT Manager Clayton Delano, RNs Georgia Stellios, Hayley Bourne, Mary Sunjic,  ????, Georgia Buckley, Amber Haberman, Vanessa Zenzmaier, Kelly Laws, & (being carried) Samantha Livings.

douglas pikacha

Senior surgeon, and DAISI team leader Dr Douglas Pikacha with Amber Haberman (left) and Georgia Buckley.


Anesthetist Dr Narko Tutuo who led the DAISI trip to Gizo Hospital.

the count

The count: scrub nurses Kelly Laws, with Amber Haberman (scout).


Registered Nurses at Gizo Hospital.  L-R: Hayley Bourne, Vanessa Zenzmaier, Georgia Stellios and Mary Sunjic.


At Gizo Hospital-Anaesthetic Registrar Dr Una with Registered Nurses Samantha Livings and Mary Sunjic.


Soaked from the heavy downpour! Registered Nurses – (front) Mary Sunjic and Vanessa Zenzmaier (back) Barbara Mitchell and Georgia Buckley.


Anaesthetics Trolley at Gizo Hospital.



“S8 Drug Cupboard” Gizo Hospital, Solomon Islands.

peter hewett

Prof Peter Hewett (colorectal surgeon) and Dr Amir Ashrafizadeh (surgical registrar), with surgical registrar Dr James Niunimae  doing colorectal surgery with General surgeon Dr Michael Buin observing.

amir ashrafizadeh with general surgeon Michael Buin

Surgical Registrar Dr Amir Ashrafizadeh with general surgeon Dr Michael Buin.

that flower

That flower

amber haberman

Amber Haberman. Shoes optional.

our bungalow over the water

Our bungalow over the water.

fatboys resort

Fatboys resort.

the gizo noticeboard

Gizo Noticeboard in front of Women’s Health Centre.


The markets at Gizo.


Travelling Island Style: RNs Kelly Laws (ICU), and Samantha Livings (scrub) on the way to Honiara Airport to return home.

at the airport

At the airport.


DAISI trip # 13 – Feb/Mar 2019 (Colorectal Surgery) to Gizo Hospital, Western Province, Solomon Islands.


0 minors (Laparoscpic)
0 majors (Laparoscopic)
27 minors (open)
3 majors (open)
30 Total Cases