Better family health

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A COUNTRY with a fast growing population than its own economy could remain poor, acting country director of Marie Stopes PNG (MSPNG) Richard Doery said.
He said the health of women at the family level was important when it came to family planning.
He said family planning was cost effective and if the population was increasing faster than the economy, there would be lack of employment and development.
Doery was speaking during a media conversation on population and resource matching with journalists in Port Moresby recently.
MSPNG is working closely with the Health Department in providing family planning and sexual reproductive health services.
One of its primary roles is to ensure that people are educated on the importance of family planning and its benefits for the health of family and the nation as a whole through its outreach programmes.
Doery announced at the gathering the latest contraceptive method that MSPNG has introduced to the country and was currently under trial in selected provinces.
The minilap tubal ligation (MTL) which mainly involves interval tubal ligation (TL) is a procedure that can be conducted in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia and without the need for hospital admission or observation.
TL works by blocking the pathway of the ovary from meeting the sperm.
It is a simple surgical procedure, is effective immediately and only takes a few minutes for the doctor to carry out.
According to Dr Benny Kombuk, the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Registrar at the Port Moresby General Hospital and MTL provider, the procedure is similar to the one done in all hospitals.
He said the difference was the skin incision was smaller, a tubal hook was used, two mini retractors instead of one, only 10mls local anaesthesia for skin infiltration and vocal local to relieve any perceived pain and discomfort when the tubes were manipulated.
Kombuk and Doery initiated an outreach programme to trial the MTL procedure in  Western Highlands.
Kombuk said a similar procedure was available at Kudjip and Mt Hagen hospitals but there were certain factors that did not allow mothers to access this service.
He said Nazarene was a church-run hospital and charged K85 for TL and a bed fee for about K30.
“Most of the mothers we have seen are from a lower social economic status and could not afford the fee easily. Though they may desire to have a family completion and they could not afford the fee,” he said.