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Bali Bomb Victims Benefit From NZ Honey

Bali Bomb Blast Victims Among Those To Benefit From NZ Wound Care Product

Victims of last October’s terrorist bombings in Bali are among a number of Balinese benefiting from a New Zealand honey-based wound care product used to treat burns and skin infections.

Appropriately known as WoundCare, samples of the product were recently donated to the Bali Community Health Trust by complementary health products market leader Comvita New Zealand.

The Bali Community Health Trust reports its voluntary workers in Bali are achieving excellent results in the treatment of burns and skin infections using WoundCare. The WoundCare samples were taken to Bali by new Trust volunteer Sue Cowie, from Auckland. Cowie gave them to a local healthcare provider who is providing ongoing treatment for bomb blast patients.

Trust project manager Annette Culpan, speaking from Bali this week, described WoundCare as a fantastic product for healing wounds in Bali’s tropical conditions.

“The WoundCare has been absolutely brilliant,” according to Culpan. “We have seen some wonderful results using it to treat the burns and wounds of a diverse range of (Balinese) patients including bomb blast victims.

“One patient, simply known as Isaak, had his hand severely burnt in the bombings. Since WoundCare was applied, he has made tremendous progress and has increased mobility in his hand.

“I also witnessed the treatment of serious wounds suffered by a young disabled man injured in a hit and run accident involving a Western tourist. His wounds were almost completely healed within three days of treatment using WoundCare.”

Culpan, who is serving one year in Bali as the recipient of part of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation World of Difference Programme, says since arriving in Bali early in May she has been shocked at how different the island paradise of Bali is since the bombings.

“The trickle down effect is particularly apparent in the remote villages where loss of income via tourism has further exacerbated these already impoverished areas. Primary healthcare has been hit hardest of all and the feeling in rural Bali is desperate.

“In one village, five out of seven hotels have closed down and the situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. This loss of income has impacted most significantly on primary health, providing strong confirmation that the Trust’s work here in Bali is now more critical than ever.”

After the bombings, the Bali Community Health Trust sent three volunteers to Bali to assist in the care of local bombing victims. They took with them 150 boxes of donated product and worked with bomb blast patients for almost two months.

Encouraged by the positive feedback, the Trust is sending more donated WoundCare samples to Bali. The samples are going with Trust founders Julia West and Sue Cotton who are returning to continue their work in the rural villages and revisit the patients they treated after last October’s bombings.

Annette Culpan says the critical situation in Bali makes the support of companies like Comvita all the more important. She adds the Trust’s work simply would not happen without this type of support.

Comvita’s resident natural health consultant, Dr Caroline Davy, says the positive reports about the effectiveness of WoundCare come as no surprise.

“New Zealand’s manuka honey, which is the basis of our WoundCare 18+ product, is gaining increasing acceptance among health professionals, here and overseas, as an effective alternative to conventional medical treatment of wounds,” says Dr Davy.

“I know of several major UK hospitals which now routinely use manuka honey for wound dressings, and here (in New Zealand) it’s widely used in aged care hospitals. Manuka Honey contains UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) which is a special antibacterial acitivity not found in other honeys.”

Dr Davy claims one of manuka honey’s most important roles in wound care may prove to be of help in the treatment of wounds infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. She points to laboratory testing which shows its success in combating certain bacterial infection.

Comvita’s national sales manager Dave Burnett, who with chairman Bill Bracks spearheaded the company’s Bali initiative, says further WoundCare donations to the Bali Community Health trust are likely.

“We are delighted our donation has been so well received by the Trust and it’s nice to see people less fortunate than ourselves benefiting from a natural product from this part of the world,” says Burnett.

For more information on the Trust’s work in Bali see www.balihealthtrust.com or mail correspondence and donations to PO Box 49, Beachlands, Auckland.

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