Midwives’ achievements celebrated

The achievements and commitment of more than 500 midwife graduates were celebrated on the 21st of March by Australia Awards PNG.

They were recognised for the critical role they play in improving neonatal and maternal healthcare in PNG.

PNG has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the Asia Pacific region with an estimated 733 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

The Australian government, in partnership with the Government of PNG, has been supporting the development of PNG’s midwifery human resources through scholarships for midwives and supporting capacity building for health training institutions that provide midwifery training.

Speaking at the alumni event on Thursday, Health Minister, Sir Puka Temu, said 422 awardees have graduated since 2012, adding it is a very impressive number indeed.

“Our graduates have a big and important job ahead of them,” he said. “Sadly, as we know, more than 2,000 mothers, 12,000 under 5 years old children and 6,000 newborn babies die every year in our country.

“At the frontline, this means providing vital antenatal and postnatal care and spreading the message that antenatal care is important for the health of both mothers and newborns.

“We are working alongside all of you to ensure that we support more and more graduates entering the workforce, build and redevelop more health facilities and provide new technologies to ensure each and every graduate has the tools necessary to do your job.”

Leading up to the event, over 60 Australia Awards midwifery recent graduates participated in a two-day clinical leadership workshop. The workshop focused on enhancing leadership skills in a clinical setting.

Australia Awards In-PNG Scholarships aim to address the targeted vocational skills gap that are required for PNG's frontline service delivery. They are offered by the Australian government in partnership with PNG, in addition to scholarships for long- and short-term study in Australia.

Offered in collaboration with local education institutions and other stakeholders, the In-PNG Scholarships present a unique opportunity to support the sustainable capacity development of the schools, colleges and universities that host these awardees and the involved professional associations.

Carmella Gware