David Watters Releases 'Stitches in Time'

David Watters Releases 'Stitches in Time'

Wewak, Papua New Guinea

Author David Watters, formerly Professor of Surgery in Papua New Guinea, and his co-author, Anna Koestenbauer, release, through Xlibris, "Stitches in Time: Two Centuries of Surgery in Papua New Guinea," a historical account of the development of surgery in Papua New Guinea covers two centuries of surgical progress from the early 1800s.

"Stitches in Time" deals with the history of surgery in Papua New Guinea from the time of the first European contact to the emergence of sub-specialist national surgeons. It begins with the first impressions of ship surgeons, missionaries and traders, who witnessed the amazing trephination skills of village medicine men residing in the Bismarck Archipelago. With the arrival of colonial government, this story progresses to the introduction and development of surgery, describing the pioneers and colourful characters drawn by a sense of adventure to an unknown land as missionaries, medical officers or surgeons.

During the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, the country changed greatly as a result of exploration, evangelisation, colonisation, and war. The history traces the surgical challenges encountered and the individuals who were charged to provide the health services run by the missions, companies, governments, and armies. After World War II, Papua New Guinea progressed from Territory to Independent Nation and began to train its own doctors and surgeons. Since then, the pace of change has been so rapid that within one generation, village children became subspecialist surgeons.

The history is comprehensive and well illustrated. It is set within the context of tropical pathology, introduced diseases, and surgical advances worldwide. The text is scattered with mini-biographies, liberally describing the lives and experiences of the many expatriates and nationals who have taken up the challenge of surgery - usually with success, despite limited resources, in often desperate circumstances.

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