The National Department of Health (NDoH) in partnership with community health programs in Western Province conducted two Essential Obstetric Care (EOC) training programs in Daru and Kiunga during May.
The training was conducted in partnership with the Ok Tedi Development Foundation-funded Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) – Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP) and the Ok Tedi Mining Limited-funded North Fly Health Services Development Program (NFHSDP).
The Reproductive Health Training Unit (RHTU) of the NDoH facilitated the trainings, which covered basic antenatal, labour, and postnatal care topics and ran for 1 week in each location. The participants included CMSFHP, NFHSDP, government and church health workers from the North, Middle, and South Fly Districts.
RHTU Educator and EOC training facilitator, Maria Rumints, said the training is very important to health workers in remote locations within Western Province.
Rumints said “the NDoH has recent data that indicates only 38 percent of deliveries are supervised, therefore 62 percent are not supervised and that is very concerning.”
The facilitator added that EOC must not only be practiced during the delivery, but throughout all stages of the pregnancy.
“Health workers must understand their roles and duties during a pregnancy and not only at the delivery bed. They must carry out their roles with due care and must do so from the start of the pregnancy until the mother and child are safe to leave the health facility.”
Rumints also commented on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, and regarded it as the way forward to reach rural areas to provide vital health training and information that will improve the lives of the rural population.
Rumints praised this partnership and said, “CMSFHP and the NFHSDP have done tremendously well with setting a foundation in delivering health services to the people in the CMCA and North Fly areas, and with the Public Private Partnership, the NDoH and churches can partner with each other to carry out health services like trainings.”
CMSFHP’s Specialist Workforce Trainer, Oscar Karatu, reported that a total of 32 participants attended the EOC trainings.
“We had 10 from the Evangelical Church of PNG, 10 from the government health facilities, eight from CMSFHP and NFHSDP, three from the Catholic Health Services and one from Divine Word University,” Mr. Karatu said