PNG needs more midwives

National, Normal

The National, Monday 6th May 2013


HEALTH training institutions need manpower and resources to provide quality training to midwives, president of the PNG Midwifery Society, Dr Nancy Buasi, says. 

Buasi, along with midwives from the Port Moresby General Hospital, urban clinics and midwifery students from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) School of Medicine and Health Sciences celebrated International Day of the Midwife in Port Moresby last Friday. 

“This year’s theme is ‘The world needs midwives now more than ever’. As we speak the world needs about 300,000 midwives. In PNG, we try to train more midwives but cannot due to lack of resources and training capacity.”

Buasi said previously UPNG was the only institution that trained midwives but now the Pacific Adventist University,  Divine Word University and University of Goroka also offered courses on midwifery. 

She said the Vunapope School of Nursing in East New Britain would commence the training programme next year. 

She added that the current quota of student intake at UPNG was only 20 per year and with AusAID on board to fund the programme, that would include development of training facilities.

“But we need manpower to provide quality training. The last national health plan stipulated that by the year 2010 all health facilities would have one midwife each especially in the rural areas but we have not reached that,” she said.

“We need to train more midwives but we need quality training and facilities. We need educators to train and supervise.”

Buasi told The National that currently there were eight midwifery facilitators from Australia working alongside national lecturers at each of the institutions that offered the course.  

“As midwives we feel that is important to provide quality care to the mothers and their babies because our maternal mortality is very high – 733 per 100,000 live births per year.”

“We need to uplift our profession and let people know that we are here.”