The National- Thursday, February 10, 2011
By ANGELINE KARIUS
REDUCING maternal and infant mortality rate during delivery will be the focus of the 5-star Vanimo General Hospital in West Sepik after opening its new Imelda Leki maternity ward recently.
The 31 holding capacity ward will include high dependency care, both anti-natal and post-natal wards, medical and staff rooms complete with ablution was opened last Thursday.
Hospital chief executive officer Elias Kapavore said the province had one the highest maternal and infant mortality rates.
“According to the National Health Plan 2009, statistics where more than 700 mothers per 100,000 births die in the country, West Sepik lost about 370 mothers per 100,000 live births.
“In terms of infant mortality, 105 babies per 100,000 die and this is the highest in the country,” he said.
Other alarming statistics were fertility rate per woman which was at six putting her life at risk which Kapavore added that life expectancy was below 50 years for both males and females.
“As a hospital, we are challenged by the
government policy directives like the PNG Development Strategic Plan 2011-30 to improve live expectancies from the current national average of 56 to 70 years old.”
Kapavore added that the old maternity ward had been in use for the past 40 years and it was time to help improve and ensure that mothers give birth in a safe environment with the new unit.