‘Life in the Ward’

“Life in the Ward” will soon be aired for Papua New Guineans to see firsthand the struggles and resilience of health workers and mothers in the maternity ward.

The first of the series of documents was aired on Wednesday evening in Port Moresby, in commemoration of the International Day of the Midwife.

The series highlight the sheer determination and willpower of health workers, especially midwives, as they push to carry out their jobs in a challenging environment. It also takes viewers on a painful and hard journey with mothers as they go through challenges to get the help that they need. 

Speaking before the screening of the program, the United Nations Population Fund PNG representative, Maryanne Sander, said midwives face many obstacles on a daily basis and COVID-19 has only made it more difficult as they have to protect themselves, the patient and the newborn. 

“At the same time, we also understand that there is not enough midwives,” she said. “This is a profession that needs more people to join and certainly, this is a good investment for Papua New Guinea.”

Serious investment is needed for the midwifery profession, with Sander highlighting the need for proper training and education and accessibility for the rural populace, including the strengthening of health infrastructure.

“In PNG, there are only about 800 midwives right now. We need to double that figure in order to meet the demand of the country.

“We have ways to go but I’m very hopeful that shows like what we’re going to see tonight will really open people’s eyes to the importance of this very, very key profession.”

The series, produced by Marco Venditti, also outlines the lack of information available to couples to help them make family planning decisions.

It is a collaboration between Paradise Private Hospital, Capital Insurance Group, Digicel PNG, Film Bro and the United Nations Population Fund.

(United Nations Population Fund PNG representative, Maryanne Sander)

Carmella Gware