By GABRIEL LAHOC
THIRTY-five women in Salamaua local level government area will now play a vital role in reducing birth related deaths among mothers and babies in Huon Gulf district after graduating in the most successful village birth attendant (VBA) training in Morobe province last Friday.
Starting from the border of Oro province and ending in the Markham plains, Huon Gulf district is one of the hardest districts to manage and has, over the years, been affected with maternal and child birth mortality because of lack of labor wards in health centres.
Salamaua LLG president and former Morobe province premier Joshua Haggai and Huon Gulf district administrator Tony Ase praised the trained VBAs, who were described as “very important people” despite the fact that they will now work voluntarily for 24-hours a day into the 17 council wards of Salamaua LLG.
With the approval of K15,000 from the district administrator’s office, the women spent two weeks in Buakap village where they were taught the skills of monitoring, assessing and assisting pregnant women to give birth in unfriendly and unhealthy conditions.
During the training other local mothers from the village also sat in with 85 fathers and leaders, where five trainers comprising sisters and community health workers invited 35 pregnant women from the surrounding villages to participate.
As a testimony of the training, two participants went over to a nearby village and successfully assisted in delivering a baby.
Husbands of the women and their local communities were urged to take ownership by supporting the trained VBAs in their duties in delivering babies, which was described as the “first development upon the life of human being”.
The trainers, led by child birth specialist Sr Glenda Paru, urged the leaders of the district to continue to develop women’s skills and capacity.
Mr Ase commitment to fund another two more training, courses open all aid posts in Salamaua and recruit workers to work and serve the locals was welcomed by the people.
The date and venue for next trainings will be confirmed at a later date.