Dignity kits increase supervised deliveries

Like most mothers in rural Papua New Guinea, with limited access to shops and supplies for newborn care, Jada Wedjor’s priority was a safe delivery. The material needs would need to be addressed later. Thus, she arrived at the Matkomnai Health Facility with minimal basic needs for herself and the new baby.

“I had no nappies, clothes or even a blanket for my baby. My main priority was to have a safe delivery at the health facility and so I did not want these issues to stop me from going to the health center,” Jayda shared.

UNFPA distributes dignity kits in Laiagam

Lisah was born deaf. She cannot hear and she cannot speak. She was brought to the Wonepap Catholic Parish by her grandmother, who heard news of the distribution of these kits from the local priest. They traveled a few miles from their local village to reach the church.

Women and girls are among the most vulnerable during a humanitarian crisis, or in this case, election-related violence, and too often women and girls with disabilities are forgotten.

UNFPA delivers health commodities supply training in Kiunga

This aims in ensuring reproductive health medicines and medical equipment are available when and where they are needed.

Nine health facilities in the province were surveyed during the nationwide Health Facility Survey, conducted by UNFPA in partnership with the National Department of Health in 2022.

The results exposed gaps in the availability of essential medicines, including life-saving medicines for women during childbirth, and noted that adequate ordering and distribution of medical supplies and equipment as a major challenge in all health facilities.

UNFPA Delivers Dignity Kits in Porgera

The dignity kits, which include menstrual hygiene supplies as well as soap, a towel, a toothbrush, and toothpaste, are curated to ensure all women and girls can practice good hygiene when access to these basics is disrupted.

Each kit includes a solar light, to help the recipients use toilets or showers at night or when power is not available, and a whistle, as a small security measure when visiting bathrooms alone or at night.

“Periods do not stop during conflict or a natural disaster,” said UNFPA Country Representative Marielle Sander.

Ten Students Receive Midwifery Scholarships

The scholarships are part of UNFPA’s work to strengthen the midwifery workforce in Papua New Guinea.

According to the University’s Midwifery School Coordinator Sr. Clerah Goveh, it costs K37,000 for an individual student to study midwifery for 18 months.

“With financial constraints, most of these students pursue their midwifery studies with uncertainty on how to complete it successfully as a self-sponsored student,” explained Sr Clerah. 

UNFPA renews Calls to Invest in Women’s Health

According to the latest estimates released by the UN, every two minutes a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. 

The report, Trends in Maternal Mortality, reveals alarming setbacks for women’s health over recent years. The report, which tracks maternal deaths nationally, regionally and globally from 2000 to 2020, shows there were an estimated 287 000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2020. This marks only a slight decrease from 309, 000 in 2016 when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect.

UNFPA maternity kits reduce neonatal deaths

Through the corridors of Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH), hardworking midwives are committed to reducing infection as they prepare for another day bringing our newest Papua New Guineans into the world.

WHO estimates neonatal infections result in over 550,000 deaths every year, globally. Almost all are entirely preventable with basic interventions.

With the delivery of 40 maternal health kits to PMGH, midwives report the rate of neonatal deaths has decreased up to 80%.

PNG Nurse Completes Course on Evidence-Based Practice

After graduating from Pacific Adventist University, Susan realised her goal of becoming a nurse.

With 5 years’ experience, Susan joined UNFPA and Burnet Institute’s Faculty Development Programme. She completed the first module on evidence-based practice in 2022.

“I was referred to the course by one of the Maternal and Child Health Coordinators for National Capital District Provincial Health Authority, who said I should try it out,” said Susan, after completing the course.

UNFPA calls for better health education

Saddened by the news of the passing of the student UNFPA is renewing calls for quality reproductive health education in schools to prevent such tragedies.

“This was a young girl with her life ahead of her,” said UNFPA Country Representative, Marielle Sander.

“All the contributions she was to make for her family and community have been lost,” she added.

UNFPA is calling for better health education so that both boys and girls are taught about respectful and safe relationships, in addition to reproductive health information such as family planning.

Improving Psychosocial Support For Hela Province

The provision of quality mental health services is a growing concern for service providers, who see addressing mental health as key to breaking cycles of violence in the province.

“Here at Koroba LEP Centre, we see women, men, boys and girls, displaced by tribal violence,” shares Alice Bibe, Coordinator of the Koroba LEP Centre in Hela Province.

“And they bring their troubles and concerns with them,” adds Bibe.

“During, and following conflict, people are living with a lot of trauma,” said Mapera Angu, Project Coordinator for the Melanesian Institute.