True champion of villages - Solomon Star News

True champion of villages

26 October 2013

I WISH to join my colleague Dr Transform Aqorau (SST5315), or he has happily beaten me first, in paying my sincerest tribute to a great leader I respect most.

His passing away was a shock to me when I was told of the news after work Thursday night. I was lost for words as my wife had met my friend just a few days ago.
I concur totally with what Transform wrote of this great Solomon Islander and I am not going to repeat those again except on a little part of my personal experiences with Dr Roughan.

Though I had met Dr Roughan before, we worked together when we progressed to develop the Primary Health Care (PHC) services in Solomon Islands in the seventies and eighties.
PHC in the Solomon Islands context meant villages and that was how Dr Roughan was the mastermind.
He developed what was known as the ‘Village Development Wheel’ comprising all radials reflecting the needs of the villages.
The ‘wheel’ can only turn when all needs are met.

This was the important tool rural PHC workers used to assess village needs and also how to address these needs.
Dr Roughan did not only come up with the template through which villages can be best served, through his SIDT deployed Village Development Workers (VDWs) posted throughout rural areas carrying out services to villagers.

It is along this structure that we in MHMS health came up with Village Health Aids in the villages as important component of PHC.
I quickly believed his commitment to villages that has the majority of Solomon Islanders.

Subsequently we in the then Anti-malaria Control program more efficiently emphasized villages as the base of our activities.
I myself in general toured villages most times and at times away from Honiara up to four weeks visiting villages right from Temotu to the Shortlands including the bush highland villages of Baegu and Kwaio on Malaita as well in the mountain villages of Guadalcanal.
Dr Roughan on his part according to his commitment involved the VDWs in malaria control activities at the same time.

Though Dr Roughan and I joined several committees in Honiara our focus was always on the villages.  
Indeed it was his work in the villages that he obtained his PhD from USA.
And one can imagine it was during our collaboration and cooperation that he encouraged me to do the same.
That encouragement I did not discard but strived on and obtained the first PhD from London, for Solomon Islands on my work for malaria control based in the villages.

Now the people of this nation including in villages are enjoying a very low malaria situation. I thank the Lord Dr Roughan witnessed this satisfying malaria result before He took him away.

To me I have lost a true friend, motivator, mentor, educator, and champion of village based development.
I will always remember his smiles even when we were discussing very serious issues.
Yes, we have lost a great leader who acted with wisdom, consistency, continuity and integrity.
All his writings reflected these qualities but he never ever lost sight of his village focus.

Farewell my friend Dr John Roughan you have indeed completed your duty for your lovely adopted nation and people.
You now rest in peace with your loved one. The true Champion of villages!
Paul, Kylie and all children and relatives, I and family share your loss and please accept our sincere condolences.
We remember you in our prayers in these times of bereavement and sorrow.

Rest in Peace my friend John.