Thirty birth attendants graduate from two-week training

Health Watch, Normal

The National, Thursday July 26th, 2012

TWO village birth attendants have put theory into practice after their first week of training in Sambio village, Morobe.
The two trainees, Giasamo Francis and Anna James, delivered a baby just a week into training.  
Francis and James were among 30 other trainees who attended a two-week training sponsored by Hidden Valley Joint Venture (HVJV) at a cost of K30,000.
Under its community and regional development health programme, MMJV partnered up with deputy provincial health matron, Sister Balep Wahazokac and Wau health centre nursing officer-in-charge, Sr Kokoya Kebabi to provide the training.
 James said delivering the baby just a week into the training was an invaluable learning experience for her in ensuring the baby was born healthy while supporting the mother during birth.
She said the high infant and maternal mortality rates in Morobe could be reduced through knowledge and skills gained from such training.
 James and her fellow trainees celebrated their achievements at a colourful graduation ceremony on July 13 with their community, officials from the Bulolo district administration and MMJV.
Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek praised MMJV’s efforts to supporting health programmes and said village birth attendants played a crucial role in their communities.
“Mothers who are pregnant must consult their attendants as soon as possible to get advice.
“By doing that they  can minimise their risks and ensure a safe delivery of the baby,” Gwambelek said.
MMJV community and regional development manager, Benjamin Kamaya praised the community for working together to support this training.
“We need better health services. VBAs play an important role in achieving that,” Kamaya said.
He said MMJV was committed to continuing the strong partnership with the provincial health division to implement health programmes aimed at improving the lives of the people.
Five VBA trainings have so far been conducted in the Bulolo and Huon Gulf districts.
HVJV is the operator of the Hidden Valley mine and one of three joint ventures that make up Morobe Mining Joint Ventures (MMJV).