17 Feb 2009

Hopes that Doctors Without Borders will return to PNG's Tari despite assaults on staff

4:31 pm on 17 February 2009

A hospital chief in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea has called for a liquor ban after Doctors Without Borders staff were evacuated from the region following an attack by a drunk hospital security guard.

The crew of six doctors and nurses from the organisation flew from Tari to Port Moresby on a chartered flight on Sunday, six months into what was supposed to be more than a year working in the town.

PNG's National newspaper reports that a male Doctors Without Borders staffer needed stitches for a wound to the ear while a female colleague suffered bruising when they were attacked by a drunk security guard at Tari Hospital.

The hospital's chief Dr Bravy Koensbong confirmed the incident and admits there's an alcohol problem in the area.

He says about 70 per cent of violence in Tari is due to alcohol and drugs.

The local community has handed the suspect over to police and have called on the NGO to return.