Maternity ward ‘close to collapsing’


PORT Moresby General Hospital’s maternity ward is close to collapsing due to lack of maintenance and support, a doctor says.
“The hospital was built in 1955 by the colonial government when the city’s population was about 50,000 but 65 years later it is serving more than 500,000,” head of obstetrics and gynecology Dr Glen Mola said.
Mola said the 24 delivery suites and 100 beds at the postnatal care were not enough because 40 women delivered each day and mother and baby could not leave the hospital the next day.
He said about 15,000 women gave birth at the hospital every year of which 5000 cases were complicated and 10,000 were normal.
This meant that daily, about 13 women out of 40 who gave birth faced complications.
A common complication involves a Caesarean birth and Mola said one in every 10 women needed a C-section to save the baby or mother.
He said they had to do three C-sections in the same evening so “by the time we came to the third, we were late which resulted in losing the mother or the baby”.
“We have three operating theatres but there is staffing only to keep one operating theatre working in the night,” Mola said.
“It is difficult to find the time and space to look after mothers with complications.
“I worked in this hospital for 42 years and we are getting more and more patients, the space is the same and with the lack of staff and resources, we cannot cope sometimes.”