Samaritan Aviation is a non-profit Christian organisation that has been serving the people of East Sepik Province through emergency evacuation flights, delivery of medical supplies and continued community outreach and health programs.
Recognising the important efforts of the organisation in providing primary health care, Digicel Foundation has continued its funding support to Samaritan Aviation, bringing the total funding to K300,000 to date.
The funding support for 2019/2020 includes assisting with logistics and fuel costs to support emergency flights to the Sepik river communities and a newly introduced Emergency Obstetric Care Course for nurses and Community Health Workers (CHW) from the health centres that the float plane services.
Last week saw the first batch of 22 health workers undergo the course run by the East Sepik College of Nursing in partnership with the East Sepik Provincial Health Authority. The health workers who participated in the training operate in the most remote parts of East Sepik with little to no equipment to assist mothers with deliveries.
The training covered topics on maternal and infant health including sessions on trauma healing and child protection. Participants expressed gratitude over being equipped with vital information that will assist in managing complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Delma Bira, a nursing officer at the Biwat Health Sub-centre in Angoram District, said the health sub-centre where she is based only have nursing officers and community health workers and often work with limited capability and knowledge.
“We do not receive regular training so attending this training in emergency obstetric care has given me specialised information in midwifery and I will now be able to manage complications that may arise in pregnancy,” Bira said.
Medical Directors of Samaritan Aviation Chris and Sarah Cooke welcomed the partnership and emphasized the importance of the training: “We’re so grateful to partner with Digicel Foundation to bring together rural health workers who are often forgotten to not only to pour into their lives educationally but spiritually and mentally,” said Cooke during the graduation ceremony.
Digicel Foundation CEO, Serena Sasingian, said this partnership is part of Digicel Foundation’s three-year strategic plan to work in partnership with government and stakeholders to deliver health infrastructure and programs to improve primary health care outcomes.
“A key focus of the Foundation is maternal health so we are fortunate to find partners such as Samaritan Aviation who are working on the frontlines to keep mothers and babies alive.”
Digicel Foundation in the past 11 years has established itself as a strong partner in infrastructure development and has, in recent years, gone into partnership with various organisations working in health and education to achieve the Foundation’s shared goals and visions of leaving no one behind.