The National, Monday 28th November 2011
Story by ZACHERY PER
AUSTRALIA’S global ambassador for women and girls, Penny Williams, visited Eastern Highlands as part of first trip to Papua New Guinea.
Williams visited the midwifery programme at the University of Goroka and was impressed with what she saw.
Williams said she was appointed by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard three months ago to advocate for roles of women and girls.
“To come to Goroka to see first hand what has been happening is fantastic. It’s a lot to tell as the presentation revealed,” she said.
Williams was impressed with the work of the UOG midwifery programme with the assistance of Gulliver and her colleague Marie Trelaor at the Nupuru rural health centre in Lufa district, Eastern Highlands.
The presentation reflected how the UOG team cleaned up a rundown maternity and labour ward at the health centre.
The midwifery lecturers and tutors called for support from the male folks especially during pregnancy and when wives are in labour.
“PNG men must support the women to improve their reproductive health and similar support must be given to the midwives,” a senior lecturer Lillian Siwi said.
University vice-chancellor Dr Gairo Onagi said Williams’ visit boosted the midwifery programme they initiated at the university.
He said there were infant deaths due to poor health conditions.
Onagi said the university initiated the programme to combat some of the problems and it was not to compete with other universities.
The team visited Marie Stopes in Goroka before meeting the female police officers at the Family and Sexual Violence Unit at the Goroka police station.
They then met female village courts officials.