Mother saved by medical outreach team

A young mother is fortunate to be alive after giving birth along a lonely forest track in remote Fogomaiyu in Southern Highlands recently.

Her rescue came from an outreach patrol team, comprising workers from the Oil Search Foundation, Waro Health Facility and Marie Stopes.

The team was conducting a three-day clinic on immunization, family planning awareness and basic health service delivery to the remote Fogomaiyu community, made up of four villages.

Two days into the patrol, they received word of the young mother who had undergone an unsupervised delivery along a track while on her way to the clinic.

She was weak, bleeding and in a state of shock.

The team quickly responded with an emergency medical care and successfully stabilised her condition.

Papua New Guinean communities experience high maternal and infant mortality largely due to poor access to medical services during pregnancy and birth.

Regular and quality outreach is essential to expanding the reach of health service delivery to remote villages.

By December 2016 the Oil Search Foundation had conducted about 2000 outreach clinics and patrols with its health partners in local government and faith based organisations in Hela, Southern Highlands and Kikori in Gulf.

It also provided over 60,000 immunisations in these provinces.

“However outreach alone will not realise the significant shift in improving outcomes for mothers and newborn infants that is required” said OSF CEO Kymberley Kepore.

“OSF is taking a comprehensive approach to helping communities address this issue. We are working with our partners to provide accommodation for mothers about to give birth so they do not have to travel long distances while in labour. We are also training midwives, improving birthing suits, providing clean water and electricity to health centres, supporting family planning, raising community awareness on safe motherhood and encouraging incentives for mothers to deliver in health centres.”

Healthy mothers and healthy babies are essential to the ongoing growth and prosperity of PNG.

“We want to help our communities meet their development needs. Together we will tackle the big issues such as reducing maternal mortality and increasing access to health services for remote populations,” Ms Kepore said.

Press statement