Health & safety
Aside from raskols (bandits), tribal warfare can break out over coffee production, land disputes, pigs or gardens. Clan warfare never embroils outsiders, confining itself to the protagonists, but it can make things unstable and unpredictable. During the day, Mt Hagen is perfectly safe. Nobody hassles or asks for money, but the town is thronged with security guards and dogs around banks and shops. Don’t approach the dogs –they are not accustomed to white people. Walking the streets and exploring the shops is quite safe.
It’s not, however, safe at night and the market area is rife with cons and pickpockets. Although the Highlands is a ‘dry’ region, home-brew alcohol is increasingly a problem.
There are several pharmacies in town.
Kujup Nazarene Hospital (546 2341, 546 2228; Kujup) Located 45 minutes east on the Highlands Hwy, Dr Jim Radcliff comes recommended by the local missionaries.
Mt Hagen Hospital (542 1166; Kumniga Rd) The haus sik (hospital) borders Pope Paul’s Park near the town centre.
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