MP: Mothers should not die

National, Normal

The National, Friday, May 6, 2011

ABOUT five women die every day from childbirth and pregnancy complications in the country, Minister for Community Development Dame Carol Kidu says.
She said their deaths were tragic because most could have been prevented.
Dame Carol said Papua New Guinea had the worst maternal mortality in the region;
“We lose 1,500 daughters, mothers, sisters and friends every year because of pregnancy-related complications,” she said.
To counteract that, PNG and Australia will launch a campaign today to cut the number of women dying in childbirth here.
The campaign coincides with Mother’s Day and will use radio and newspaper advertising and text messages to raise the awareness among men and women on how to keep women healthy throughout a pregnancy and how to ensure a safe birth.
The newly-formed PNG Safe Motherhood Alliance aims to educate expectant mothers, particularly in rural areas on the danger signs of pregnancy complications and the need to get to health care quickly.
Led by Dame Carol’s office, the PNG Safe Motherhood Alliance brings together department of health-maternal health taskforce, community groups, AusAID and other donors, local midwives, obstetricians and village birth attendants.
The alliance will promote increased public awareness of the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all Papua New Guinean women as well as unborn and newborn children. 
The head of AusAID in PNG, Stephanie Copus-Campbell said the more information men and women had on a healthy pregnancy, the more likely they would make good decisions.
“This is not just a decision for women.  Both women and men must plan for a birth in a supervised environment,” she said.