Life In The Ward

​The latest episode in the documentary series, Life in the Ward premiered to an audience of health practitioners, youth advocates, and business leaders on Tuesday.

This episode, the first in a two-part deep dive into the challenges facing rural health services, follows Dr Nancy Hamura as she conducts health checks for a remote community in Eastern Highlands Province.

The local health centre has not had running water for almost ten years and land disputes have left the centre unable to cater to the needs of the community.

Particularly at risk are pregnant women who, without access to safe delivery services at the health centre, must be referred to Goroka Base Hospital. Most will give birth on the way and, without proper medical supervision, their lives and the lives of their children, are at risk.

“The community has to be responsible.”

Dr Hamura spoke with guests following the premiere about some of the challenges facing rural health workers. She spoke of instances where health workers are harassed and abused, and building materials provided for the facilities have been stolen or sold.

“The community has to be responsible,” she said.

Dr Hamura, joined by Professor Glen Mola for the launch event, called for stronger leadership at all levels to address the issues affecting local health centres, noting the importance of community ownership and responsibility for the health services that are provided for them.

This episode is the latest in the pioneering series that examines critical health issues in Papua New Guinea. With the majority of the country’s population living in rural areas, understanding the complexities of staffing facilities and delivering medicines and equipment in these areas is essential to addressing the basic health needs of PNG’s population.

In PNG, 87 percent of the population still lives in rural areas; most births are not in health facilities and there is very little help for women with complicated deliveries and they rely heavily on community health workers who don’t have training in emergency obstetric care.

As a result, the maternal mortality rate is high. In Papua New Guinea there are not enough midwives to support the approximately 300,000 births per year.


Loop Author